Sony enters smart speaker market with Google Assistant powered device

In a move being replicated throughout the technology sector, Sony joins the list of manufacturers offering a “smart speaker” device. Unlike some companies who offer catchy names like Bixby or Echo/Alexa, Sony keeps things basic just going for a typical device model number of LF-S50G. Part of that may be due to Sony’s decision to deploy the Google Assistant technology on their device rather than trying to develop their own system.

Because the Sony LF-S50G uses Google technology, users will be able to get things going with the “OK Google” command and from there proceed to ask questions or issue commands available in the Google ecosystem. In addition to handling direct inquiries, the Sony LF-S50G can also serve as a hub for a variety of home automation devices like lights and thermostats as you would expect from a Google Assistant powered device.

To try to set itself apart from the competition, Sony is trying to sell the market on a couple features that may be unique. First, Sony has incorporated a system of speakers that are comprised of a two-way system to provide 360-degree sound. The speakers include a full range speaker, a dedicated subwoofer, a “damped bass reflex duct” and an omnidirectional two stage diffuser. All of this is to capitalize on Sony’s existing audio technology to deliver high quality sound throughout a room where the LF-S50G may be deployed.

Sony also included IPX3 water resistance, which basically means it is splash-proof, and a chrome base. This may make the unit more suitable for being kept on a kitchen countertop or in a bathroom where the occasional miscue could be disastrous for normal electronics.

The LF-S50G will be available in white or black with the top portion of the cylinder covered in a meshlike textured material to go with the chrome base. On one side is a clock display that can be turned on or off. If you want to forgo voice commands, the top of the unit can handle a few gestures to do some things like start music, skip tracks or adjust the volume.

The LF-S50G will hit the US market in October at a retail price of $200. That will be followed by a European launch in the U.K., Germany and France in November.

source: Sony

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.