Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Google smart speaker patent decision will change how you operate your speaker groups

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If you have many Google smart speakers in your home, you should be aware of a recent legal decision that will alter how your speaker groups function. Google has already announced software workarounds after the US International Trade Commission ruled that it was infringing on Sonos’ patents, including the “need to adjust each speaker individually instead of using the group volume controller,” and that users will no longer be able to adjust the volume of a speaker group with their phone’s volume rocker. This shift is attributed to “a recent court judgment,” which you can read everything about here.

When the patent ruling was announced, Google stated that the ITC had certified non-infringing designs. However, Sonos warned that to comply, Google might have to “degrade or delete product functionality,” which appears to be the case. Given that Google has 60 days to bring its devices into compliance, we didn’t expect it to happen this soon.

The modifications appear to be a significant reduction to Google’s multi-room audio capability, which allows you to synchronize speakers and have them all play at the same time. Instead of saying “Hey Google, set volume to 40% on Living Room speakers,” you’ll have to adjust the volume for each one individually via the assistant, Google Home app, or a Nest Hub display.

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Google also says that “a small group of users” will need to use a specific app to set up and update their smart devices, and users should be aware that if their speaker group includes products from other manufacturers, they may need to be updated to the latest firmware to continue working as part of that speaker group. Google’s blog post concludes with the statement that it will “try to minimize any subsequent modifications.”

also read:

AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card will be unable to ship at MSRP and will cost even more

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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