Sony unveils its own smart speaker equipped with Google Assistant9
Sony has now joined the growing number of tech firms offering a smart speaker, which will be listed as the model number LF-S50G. The smart speaker craze, kicked off by the launch of the Amazon Echo in the U.S. on June 23rd 2015, has taken hold in 2017. Besides Amazon and Google, whose smart speakers make up most of the models currently sold, later this year we will see new versions of the product launched from Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and now Sony.
Each smart speaker is typically comprised of a speaker and a virtual assistant. On the Echo, Amazon introduced Alexa who has become a breakout star in 2017. Now found on devices such as the HTC U11 smartphone, the future appears bright for Amazon's virtual assistant. On the Google Home it is Google Assistant acting as the virtual assistant, and Microsoft's Invoke will star Cortana. The Apple HomePod will of course feature Siri, and Bixby will handle the job on Samsung's yet to be introduced model.
Just the other day, Google said to expect Google Assistant to end up in more smart speakers besides Google Home, and sure enough the Sony LF-S50G will employ Google Assistant. The Sony device, which is splash-proof with an IPx3 certification rating, will use Google Assistant to allow users to stream songs from Spotify, Google Play Music and Pandora. Owners of the Sony smart speaker can also ask for sports scores, weather conditions, and turn on or off any smart devices in their home. Users can also pair their phone to Sony's device via NFC or Bluetooth connectivity.
The Sony LF-S50G will show the time on the speaker, which Sony says is powerful enough to "comfortably fill the average room with sound" while offering a 360-degree audio experience. The device will be available in October in black or gray priced at $200. The following month, the Sony smart speaker will be available in Germany, France and the U.K. priced at €230 or £200. As a comparison, Apple's HomePod will be priced at $349 when it launches in December.