As Sonos has revealed in the announcement of the latest quarterly figures, the company plans an offline voice control for the networked loudspeakers of the brand. For this purpose, the French company Snips was acquired, which has developed a language assistant.
In direct competition to the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri Sonos does not want to kick, but rather to enable a voice control of the music playback on the in-house speakers, without the language assistant for this necessarily requires an Internet connection. The acquisition of the French company Snips, whose voice assistant allows just such use without cloud connection and runs directly on the device, has cost Sonos $ 37.5 million. The company, founded in 2013, employs around 50 people.
Privacy concerns of customers
Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos, emphasized Varietythat an offline language assistant that allows the control of music playback should address the privacy concerns of customers. Sonos currently supports both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa digital voice assistants on its own speakers, but keeps receiving feedback from users that they do not want to use a language assistant to upload all requests to a foreign cloud.
Sales and loss increase
Sonos itself was able to increase revenue in the past quarter compared to the same period last year by about eight percent to 294.2 million US dollars. Nevertheless, the loss also increased. While it was $ 1.7 million a year ago, Sonos reported a loss of $ 29.6 million for the fourth fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2019. This development is triggered by higher R & D spending, according to the company.
Sold 6 million Sonos speakers
In total, Sonos sold about six million Sonos speakers in the past fiscal year, a total of nine million households now use the company's loudspeakers – 1.7 million more than a year ago.