Multiroom audio is a very hot category right now. Voice control is a very hot category right now. Combining the two should be a no-brainer. And while industry leader Sonos continues to tinker with support for Amazon Alexa, CasaTunes is already on it. The company has announced support for Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and other Alexa devices for its whole-house audio system as well as its DIY musicBox 6 servers, making it one of the first multiroom audio solutions with voice control.
With the CasaTunes “skill,” homeowners can control the volume, turn rooms on and off, share music around the home and queue up songs they want to listen to. All the typical commands are supported, including play, pause, next track, previous track, shuffle and repeat, while users can also ask Alexa what is playing in a room and schedule an alarm.
“At CasaTunes, we have been working on providing a robust voice control solution, based on the Alexa voice service, to existing and prospective CasaTunes and musicBox 6 homeowners. With the growing popularity of voice based control systems, homeowners are looking for products that include voice control,” says David Krinker, president, CasaTunes. “At less than $50, the Amazon Echo Dot is an excellent alternative to keypads in the home. We expect customers will deploy these devices throughout their home, and use these, along with the CasaTunes and musicBox 6 apps to control their music.”
Communicating with the CasaTunes Alexa skill can be done by saying “Alexa, tell CasaTunes,” followed by the command. For example, all these phrases would work when paired with a CasaTunes device or DIY musicBox 6 music server:
- Alexa, ask CasaTunes to power on Living Room
- Alexa, ask CasaTunes to schedule an alarm for 8:00 am
- Alexa, ask CasaTunes to share music with Master Bedroom
- Alexa, ask CasaTunes to select next playlist
- Alexa, ask CasaTunes what song is playing
- Alexa, ask CasaTunes to power off all rooms
The Alexa skill for CasaTunes and musicBox 6 is available now as a free upgrade for all existing CasaTunes and musicBox 6 systems. The skill is only available to U.S. customers at the moment.
What about Google Home?
CasaTunes is also looking into adding compatibility with Google Home. While Google Home households can already listen to multiroom audio through Chromecast-enabled speakers, there could be a benefit for companies to support multiple voice control platforms.
Speaking to CE Pro Europe, David Krinker, CEO of CasaTunes, notes: “We look at all types of control options, including Google Home. We prioritize support based on customer demand, market share, licensing, and development cost. In the case of Google Home, this is something we are investigating.”
This article originally appeared in CE Pro Europe.