What Sonos can and cannot do

by Volker Weber

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When Sonos announced a change of direction, I was left puzzled.

As we look to the future there are two big areas that we’re leaning into: paid streaming services, and voice control.

Both of these things are outside of Sonos' reach. They can't take them over; they need to work with them. The streaming services give us a good idea of what Sonos plans to do: integrate existing technology in a platform agnostic way. For voice control that means working with Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google assistant. Sonos' best designer is working on that.

Sonos cannot match the investment that goes into music discovery or speech recognition. But they need to speed up their software support for those services.

Comments

This is a double-edged sword. While the Anglo-Saxons tend to embrace the technological progress, some other countries fear more the risks of being spied on. Boosting sales in one direction may result in decrease in sales on the other side.

Personally I would never buy such a device. At the moment I do trust the competitors in that market. But what will happen if the law changes anywhere in the world and the CEOs of Google, Apple or Sonos have to open their vaults whether they want to or not? Who knows what a President Trump or a Bundeskanzlerin Petry will do?

Richard Kaufmann, 2016-05-30 14:36

Do not fear what you do not understand.

Volker Weber, 2016-05-30 14:40

Don't worry. I don't fear technology. I only fear people with the power to abuse technology. But let us stop here. It's your house. I don't want to be disrespectful. We (maybe) talk again in five years from now.

Richard Kaufmann, 2016-05-30 17:01

No, let's talk today. You seem to know more than I do about what Sonos is building. I need to learn this.

Volker Weber, 2016-05-30 17:04

i have sonos in every room - and bought an echo last november... my girlfriend studies music and hates smart home stuff, but loved sonos - but 2 days after echo was there she started using the echo speaker instead of sonos, because it was easier to access - that's when i realized that voice control is absolutely crucial for sonos survival.

Marco Maas, 2016-06-02 07:40

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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