Owners of Google’s smart speakers are about to get a disturbing update thanks to heavy losses in a lawsuit with integrated speaker company Sonos.
Arstechnica The U.S. International Trade Commission’s final ruling confirmed that Google had infringed five Sonos patents, the report said. They all seem to revolve around speaker sets, including setting up and controlling them.
Before voice assistance came along, Sonos was basically the only name in the connected speaker game. They’re pretty smart when it comes to sound, and may even extend to wireless headphones.in an article New York Times, Sonos claims Google learned how their system worked in 2013, when the company was pitching an integration with Google Play Music. It argues that Google “blatantly and intentionally” copied Sonos when it made the Google Home speaker.
A victory like Sonos’s could mean Google products that infringe those patents will be banned in the United States. However, Google decided to issue a software downgrade approved by the International Trade Commission.
Thank goodness most downgrades Listed by Google Most users probably won’t notice, but there’s one that makes people unhappy. Google says most speaker sets should continue to function, but may need an update, especially if non-Google products are mixed, and some users may need to use additional apps to complete the installation and download. What’s really exciting is that this update will prevent users from adjusting speaker volume in groups, instead having to do it speaker by speaker.
Playing music on all of your Google Home speakers at the same time is actually pretty awesome. It does have the feeling of Sonos’ music following you around the house, like you’re in a cool indie movie. That’s why I have multiple Google speakers in my home in the first place, and I also want to make sure they can monitor every room equally.
It turns out I’m not alone. Google’s notice about the software downgrade was filled with angry customers unhappy with the change. Many have accused Google of losing out to Sonos and then passing on the inconvenience to customers, not just dues to the company. Some people are asking for rebates or refunds, which seems fair because the product is no longer what it was claimed to be when purchased.
Whether this rebound will shake the tech giant is hard to say. Everyone may forget their group volume controls on smart speakers next week, or we could see Google finally just pay Sonos so I can play music again in every room.