Sonos announced the acquisition of Snips, a French company that provides embedded voice assistants and interfaces for connected devices that run locally and offline. The acquisition adds a talented group of employees and strategic IP to Sonos. Following the company’s presentation at CES 2019, Snips received a Best of Innovation Awards in the Embedded Technology category. Snips will enable Sonos to design speech-enabled devices that can operate offline and to market them faster without sacrificing its own brand identity.
Founded in 2013 and based in Paris, France, the Snips team, comprised of over 50 talented engineering, machine learning and product development professionals, has built a leading platform and tools for creating tailored voice experiences.
The differentiator in Snips’voice technology – available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese – is in running voice processing completely offline, which means more privacy and the possibility to design solutions that are not dependent on having an Internet connection. Snips voice interfaces can be implemented from simple voice commands for remote control, all the way to full natural language understanding (NLU).
Its full-stack solution is built with proprietary technology allowing for voice processing on the device. This localized processing maximizes accuracy, efficiency and privacy while minimizing footprint and cloud dependency. Snips’ voice assistants are custom-built for specific tasks and designed to run alongside other general-purpose voice assistants currently on the Sonos platform.
“Millions of people have come to enjoy the ease of controlling music with their voice. Today’s announcement gives us the added talent and technology to create an even more differentiated and immersive experience for customers, both inside and outside of the home,” says Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos. “We’re excited to welcome an incredible Snips team to the Sonos family to help bring this vision to life.”Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos
“I am extremely proud of the team and the work we have accomplished over the last five years. The technology we have created has been validated by one of the leaders in consumer electronics. I am thrilled that, joining an international company, Snips will continue its operations in France, helping French technologies succeed at an international level,”Dr Rand Hindi, Snips co-founder and CEO.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Sonos, a company that shares our core values, to continue our work and take private-by-design voice experiences to a truly global audience. We see an exciting future together as we integrate our IP and platform with Sonos, knowing it shares our dedication to building great experiences for customers without asking them to sacrifice privacy.”Joseph Dureau, CTO of Snips
Under the terms of the agreement, Sonos acquired Snips for approximately $37.5 million, subject to purchase price adjustments and holdbacks. The transaction closed on November 14, 2019.