ALEXA VOICE-CONTROL COMES TO BLUESOUND, NAD AND DALI
The first set of Amazon Alexa Skills for the BluOS Hi-Res Distributed Audio platform found in Bluesound, NAD and Dali products will be available in January 2019.
Users of BluOS Enabled products from Bluesound (including the recently reviewed and Applause Award winning Node 2i ), NAD Electronics, and DALI Speakers, will benefit from voice control of their music from any Amazon Echo device.
Amazon’s Alexa represents the first platform-wide voice control integration for BluOS. However, there are plans afoot to offer you a wider choice as to which voice assistant you use. This strategy includes the creation of BluVoice, the voice-control interface that acts as the intermediary between BluOS and a compatible voice assistant.
BluOS users will be able to ask their Echo device to deliver music playback commands to their BluOS Enabled device via BluVoice with phrases such as, “Alexa, ask BluVoice to play preset 1 in the study,” or “Alexa, ask BluVoice to play new songs on Tidal”.
The strategy also opens up the possibilities of what can be controlled with voice assistants. With the first set of Alexa Skills to be published on January 15th, 2019, BluOS users will be able to access popular or user-defined playlists from top music services, favourite radio stations, or adjust volume levels or group players together to sync music throughout the home.
Some skills, like grouping and ungrouping players for instance, as well as accessing playlists from a local library and not just from a streaming service, are examples of the rich voice control experience that BluOS’s implementation offers over the others.
Andrew Haines, BluOS Product Manager at Lenbrook International told StereoNET:
Voice control has been on the BluOS roadmap for some time, but we wanted to ensure that we delivered the most flexible approach for all of our customers. Externally integrating an Alexa Skill for BluOS is the first of many collaborations with the major voice platforms, ultimately giving BluOS users an unrivalled choice in which voice system they use to control their music.
The BluOS Alexa Skills deliver a raft of commands through any network-connected Echo device. As well as play/pause, next/back, shuffle on/off you can manage the play queue for most user libraries and music services. Additionally, you can use voice commands to switch between inputs on your BluOS players, set default music services, preset radio stations or play from network-connected music library. Furthermore, depending on the music service being listened to, you can ask what is playing or what track is up next, what album the track is from or the name of the artist.
Naturally, the list of commands will expand as various music services add more voice control functionality.
The addition of voice control increases an already extensive arsenal of BluOS control options including the BluOS Controller app for phones, tablets, and computers, IR remotes, hardware chassis controls, and home control integrations such as Crestron, Control 4, and RTI.