Sonos has signed up to the Connectivity Standards Alliance, the coalition behind the Matter standard that intends to make smart home products interoperable, regardless of the manufacturer.
Matter is a bold new initiative by the Connectivity Standards Alliance that aims to build a single unified protocol for devices that operate using Ethernet, WiFi, Thread and Bluetooth, allowing different products, brands and ecosystems to work together.
Initially slated for rollout this summer, the launch of the royalty-free standard has been pushed back until the autumn in part because of larger than expected uptake from manufacturers embracing the platform, with partners on board including Amazon, Apple, Google, Ikea, Samsung and Oppo.
Sonos' participation in the ambitious project was quietly revealed in a Twitter post by CSA last week in which it welcomed new members.
Speaking to The Verge by email after the announcement, Sonos spokesperson Joani Brink said: “Sonos has always been focused on giving customers choice. As an open platform with a wide range of partners, Sonos is committed to making sure our products integrate seamlessly with other smart home products.
“Our membership in the Connectivity Standards Alliance allows us to learn about emerging standards and also evaluate whether they provide for true interoperability at the platform or operating system level, which we consider vital to consumers and competition.”
The move isn't totally unexpected given Sonos' technically progressive track record. However, the company is also notoriously protective of its intellectual copyrights, recently taking Google to court for infringing its patents with its smart speakers.
Sonos has not elaborated any further on its plans regarding Matter, and its initial statement is certainly coy about whether it is actually committed to supporting the new standard. In a follow-up email to The Verge, the company went on to say: “Our active engagement with Matter is at an early stage, and we look forward to learning and evaluating in a constructive way.”
Multiple new products are expected to be announced by Sonos in the coming months, including a budget soundbar, images of which leaked last week, and its long-awaited wireless headphones. The company is also rumoured to be working on a new Home Theater OS after recently posting job vacancies for roles involved with designing apps and experiences directly for TV. According to multiple sources, the development follows the company's long-held desire to play a more prominent role in TV streaming.
Which Sonos speaker should you buy? Work it out here
What's next for Sonos? All the rumours around Sonos wireless headphones