Sonos are keen on further collaborations with IKEA and won't rule out the possibility of a new smart speaker.
With the arrival of the Google Assistant to the Sonos Beam and Sonos One earlier this week, Sonos finally lived up to their promise of delivering the first multi-assistant smart speaker hardware. What's more, it's unlikely to be their last such speaker.
Dane Estes, Sonos' director of Global Product Marketing, says that they see voice as additive. He says that the company's new partnership with IKEA is envisioned as a long-term one and that, when it comes to voice controls, "we don't have a principle that it's off the table for IKEA."
"In developing new products, we look at how we can provide the best possible customer experiences, we don’t have hard and fast rules about what may or may not be on the table with a feature like voice."
"For the first SYMFONISK speakers we set out to combine great sound with beautiful design to make them accessible to everyone – focusing on the fundamentals."
"It’s worth noting that since Sonos is a system, you can control SYMFONISK with voice if you have a Sonos speaker with voice capabilities built-in like Sonos One or Beam, of if you have another device that supports Alexa and soon to be the Google Assistant."
Dane says that "I can’t speak to our future plans or roadmap, however we’re excited about this partnership and the potential it offers now and for the longer term."
Speaking of the future, it's going to be interesting to see how the first generation of smart speaker hardware like the Sonos One and Beam handle the leap forward that Google's Pixel phones are about to make. Specifically, the leap to local on-device Assistant-powered experiences - which promise to be about ten times faster than the current cloud-based incarnation.
Running on-device and coming to new Pixel phones later this year, the next generation Google Assistant can understand and process your requests up to 10 times faster, making operating your phone, multi-tasking and even composing email easier than ever. #io19 pic.twitter.com/iNPpOvwDM2— Google (@Google) May 7, 2019
On this topic, Estes plays down expectations.
"Not specifically," he says, "we're always looking at ways to improve the Sonos experience for our customers, and testing new technologies and innovations, but we can't speculate on future products or experiences."