The new policy reads, in part: “Voice control works by your voice enabled Sonos Product ‘listening’ for a specific wake word. Please note that not all Sonos Products are voice enabled.”
The policy continues to describe how microphones on voice-enabled Sonos products will continuously monitor the ambient noise for such voice words without retaining or transmitting any voice recordings — which is essentially how Amazon’s Echo speaker works. “You are notified that it is recording by a visual indicator such as a light on the Product,” the policy states.
These upcoming Sonos speakers will share more than just basic functionality with Amazon’s Echo speaker. The devices will also be able to make use of Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant, as well as possibly other voice assistants. “The actual recording of your voice command is then sent to the voice partner you have authorized to receive such recording (for example, Amazon).”
Sonos has long been planning to add voice control to its speakers with the help of Amazon’s Echo, allowing Echo owners to control their Sonos speakers with the help of Amazon’s smart speaker, much in the same way that Echo owners can also control compatible internet-connected light bulbs and thermostats. A private beta test for the feature is currently underway.