Sonos finally is bringing the Google Assistant to its smart speakers: The company announced as part of its earnings report Thursday that Assistant support will be rolling out next week. Assistant support will hit other countries "over the next few months", which - judging from the past track record - could mean anything. This feature will truly elevate the customer experience and marks the first time that consumers will be able to buy a single smart speaker and get to choose which voice assistant they want to use.
The move has been a long time coming with the speaker company began teasing Google Assistant integration about a year ago. Now finally, they said they are ready to roll out the support for Google's digital assistant starting next week, not just for Sonos One but for Beam as well, although it's limited to the United States for now. We think giving consumers choice is always the right decision, and we anticipate this philosophy will be adopted in the industry over time. One feature we expect to be absent from Sonos' implementation of the technology is support for the Chromecast protocol, as well as the ability to loop Sonos speakers into a multi-room set-up with other Google Assistant-enabled speakers. But you won't be able to actually talk to your PLAYBAR using the Google Assistant.
One lesson that Sonos has probably learned is that you shouldn't make promises, or rather announcements, you can't keep.
It was tipped to launch early 2019 following its demonstration at CES 2019and a beta test that ran through January.
Having interoperability between different voice assistants could prove very lucrative for the company, especially if customers value flexibility in their smart home products as much as Sonos is clearly hoping.
The Swedish furniture giant is scheduled to launch 2 smart speakers powered by Sonos in August, which will be shown in its stores in a home-like setting.