Amazon Echo and voice recognition

  • 11 January 2017
  • 8 replies

Dear Sonos developers - I read in today's New York Times that Sonos is working on possible Amazon Echo voice recognition integration. As a loyal Sonos user, wanted to request that this feature not simply be pushed out as an enhancement/upgrade, but made optional in some way....perhaps a simple on/off feature. I have no interest in using this feature as I have privacy concerns.

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8 replies

The Sonos devices won't be doing the listening, it requires you to buy the Echo/Alexa voice control product(s) from Amazon. Since buying one of those devices is purely optional, there are no privacy concerns.
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Agree with jgatie, I can't see what privacy concerns there could be. You would have to choose to buy Alexa, which you could aregue is a bigger privacy invasion anyway, then you would have to load the Alexa skill to be able to control the Sonos system. I can't see there being any visable change to Sonos at all.
If you dont link your Sonos account with Amazon Alexa it will not work anyway. if it works like all other skills, so you should not have any privacy issues
All of this having been said, it is inconceivable that Sonos isn't contemplating voice recognition in future devices (they'd be nuts if they weren't, and integrating voice recognition into the the speaker system makes perfect sense for a number of technical reasons), so I think it's important that Sonos factor these privacy concerns in their plans.
I for one strongly urge Sonos to build a standard "Echo Skill" to control the system, including the ability to invoke specific playlists, artists, and songs stored in the user's library. I find myself not using the system as much anymore because I can play pretty much anything I want through Alexa and high quality blue tooth speakers. I use Sonos when I want to bridge into my amp driven, high end whole house system and access my own song library. If somebody comes out with a bluetooth bridge that connects with Echo, Sonos may become irrelevant.
Sonos has stated that their integration is not going to be a simple "Echo Skill". It is going to be a fully integrated solution, not a skill. So it seems Sonos is going to far exceed your minimum requirements.

As to your last sentence, there have been Bluetooth adapters for years. They receive Bluetooth and output over analog for use by receivers, amps, etc. They have no multi-room syncing ability, and they suffer from range, reliability, and sound compression problems, so they have hardly made Sonos irrelevant.
high quality blue tooth speakers.

Now there's an oxymoron! :8
I'm confused by the phrase "bluetooth bridge that connects with Echo". Not sure what that means... I can connect via bluetooth right now to my Echo devices. Or if it's in the other direction, I currently have the headphone out on my Dot connected to my Play:5 (or I may not, I swap between the dot and my laptop, depending on what I'm doing)..