Earlier this month it was rumored that Amazon was testing a multi-room audio feature for Alexa which would allow users to synchronize music across multiple Echo devices in their home. Today the company announced the new feature is now live. For the time being, the feature is only available for music requests from a few select platforms such as Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Pandora but according to the company’s press release, support for Spotify and SiriusXM is coming soon. Users can activate the feature by creating groups of two more Echo devices within their Alexa app, giving it a specific name, and then Alexa will recognize the group as part of a voice command. For instance, “Alexa, play John Mayer downstairs.”
Introducing the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Multi-Room SDK and Connected Speaker APIs
In addition to the new multi-room audio feature, today Amazon also announced two new sets of tools for developers. One being the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Multi-Room SDK which will be available early next year. This will allow users to play audio across multiple Alexa-enabled devices, not just those built by Amazon. The other is Connected Speaker APIs:
A customer can then use any Alexa-enabled device – for example an Echo Dot – to play music throughout their home on their connected audio systems. Amazon is excited to be working with leading brands on this offering, including Sonos, Bose, Sound United, and Samsung.
Given the recent news that Sonos filed an FCC application for a voice-enabled speaker, these tools could be what the company needed to integrate with Alexa. It could also confirm the rumors that Sonos is looking to partner with Amazon first to provide voice control for its speakers.