Sonos and Google built a new hybrid Assistant platform (explaining the delay)

This is why Google Assistant still hasn't come to Sonos

Sonos' Google Assistant delay explained

One of the biggest questions in the smart home world is why it's taking so long to integrate Google Assistant on Sonos speakers. It's been a year since it was announced, and now we know that it won't arrive until some point in 2019.

It turns out it's all down to an immense engineering challenge. A Sonos spokersperson told The Ambient: “Google and Sonos essentially had to build a new platform that incorporates 'works with' and 'built-in,' and seamlessly integrate it with the Sonos platform.”

Read this: Google needs to make it easier to integrate Assistant

In other words, the companies are collaborating to create a hybrid platform that combines aspects of the existing "Works with Google Assistant" and "Google Assistant built-in" platforms. For the most part, smart home devices either sign up to be devices that can be controlled with Google Assistant ("works with") or have Google Assistant built directly into it to receive voice commands ("built in").

This is unlike Alexa, which runs on a number of devices that you can also control with Alexa. The Sonos One, Polk Command Bar and Ecobee4 are just a couple of examples.

At the same time, this hybrid Google Assistant platform needs to be seamlessly integrated with Sonos' own platform. Naturally, Sonos and Google want everything to work as streamlined as possible, and that requires a lot of work.

Sonos says the two companies are sharing APIs and development work, and also notes that "it's a process." They've also been building this "deep integration from scratch". It doesn't appear that there are any other third-party brands that are building Google Assistant this deeply into its devices.

While we still don't have clarity on when in 2019 Google Assistant on Sonos will be ready, Sonos reiterated that it will share more information in early 2019. Even better, it's good to know how difficult this work is, and it only underlines how Google needs to find a way to make it easier to integrate Google Assistant.


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