Sonos is the latest manufacturer to join the smart speaker bandwagon, and especially with Apple’s own offering about to launch any moment now, new entrants will try to beat Apple to the punch by delivering some quality audio and artificial intelligence expertise.
Thanks to an FCC listing, it is confirmed that Sonos is up to developing a smart speaker which is voice-operated. Known as the S13, according to the filing, the speaker will be integrated to the company’s high-end high-performance sound systems. The system is said to feature integrated voice control using far field microphones, which should allow for users to interact with the speaker from farther distances compared to the other offerings available in the market. There is also more than one voice support platform and music platform available for users to have access to all of their music needs. The CEO of the company, Patrick Spense, did mention back in January that the speaker will be featuring Alexa, so it will feature the popular AI’s skill-set and conveniences.
The filing with the FCC also includes a screenshot of the interface of the device. This also could mean that the speaker may have its own display for better interaction. This will probably open the feature-set for buyers, who will be looking to share their media and help connect other devices to the speaker via casting and mirroring. This is not the first time that Amazon has partnered with outside manufacturers to integrate its Alexa AI’s capabilities. With the OS now being the most widely used in the world, there is a higher possibility for more smart speaker makers to enter the market, and also offer possibly cheaper alternatives. The Alexa could be to smart speakers, what Android is to smartphones.
Interestingly, the development of the speaker marks a shift in the concentration of the company’s direction. The company will look to reclaim its former glory of being at the top of their game in the home audio segment. As of now, it is too soon to speculate what features will be unique to the speaker that will separate it from the competition as the device is still under the radar and is still at its conceptual stage. Whether the company’ first attempt at a smart speaker will pay off in a market that is already seeing numerous new entrants and re-iterations and improvements being made upon existing models, it will be difficult for Sonos to penetrate the segment. Rumors indicate that the device will probably release sometime during the holiday season.