The United States patent offices are a mine of information. More than once some devices have been discovered well in advance thanks to them. And this time it was Sonos' turn, which On December 14, 2023, it filed a patent that suggests that the company is working on a TV Box called Sonos TV. The device would be based on the Android operating system but would have a special implementation by the manufacturer, with functions that seem to be quite interesting, at least on paper. That is, it would be a rival for the Apple TV or the Nvidia Shield TV, but in the “Sonos style.”
As you well know, Sonos is known for having some of the best wireless speakers on the market. In its catalog we also find sound bars highly appreciated by users and even some subwoofers. But everything seems to indicate that the well-known manufacturer seems to be in constant research to develop new products. Just a few days ago the possibility of Sonos launching headphones came to the fore, something that would be quite logical considering the market in which it competes. Today, however, the Sonos TV has been discovered, a device that has little to do with speakers.
This is not the first time there have been rumors about a possible Sonos TV Box. Two years ago it was leaked that the company was hiring personnel for develop a “home theater operating system” and that it had been exploring ways to integrate more directly with televisions. On the other hand, at the end of last year, Mark Gurman, a well-known Bloomberg journalist, commented that Sonos had plans to launch a TV Box codenamed “Pinewood”. The latter seems to take shape with the Sonos TV patent that has now been revealed.
According to Gurman, Sonos TV could launch in late 2024 or early 2025 and cost approximately between 150 and 200 dollars. It would include access to the most popular content streaming applications, such as Netflix, Disney+ or Apple TV+, being compatible with both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. But not only that, according to some images seen in the patent, also would incorporate several HDMI input portswhich would allow it to become a kind of AV receiver at the image level.
But the most interesting thing about the possible Sonos TV seems not to be in the hardware, but in the software. Sonos speakers are well known for their sound, yes, but also for their control application and excellent user interface. This experience seems to be the one that Sonos would want to transfer to its TV Box. And some curious things are extracted from the patent. For example, Sonos thinks that Conventional remote controls are outdated and a smartphone or tablet is a much better way to control a TV (or a TV Box in this case).
But it's not enough to replicate the remote control on your phone, according to Sonos. The company indicates in its patent that, “While using a smartphone as a virtual remote control provides certain benefits over conventional remote controls, the functionality offered through such virtual remote controls remains sparse and poorly integrated with the user experience through the main screen”. Furthermore, they ensure that The rest of the companies that have implemented the remote control on the mobile phone have not made enough efforts and they have done it quickly and running.
The possible Sonos TV would be controlled and configured through the mobile
So that, The mobile phone would be key to being able to control and configure the possible Sonos TV. The drawings included in the patent show that the Sonos TV configuration process would be carried out from a new mobile application developed by the manufacturer (or from the current application, it is not known), by scanning a barcode that would be displayed on the TV screen when connecting the device.
On the other hand, another thing that draws attention about the patent is that it indicates that Sonos TV would not have its own application store. This may mean that either you would use the Google Play Store, or that Sonos would implement some way to install applications from your mobile. Although it could also mean that it would be Sonos that would directly implement the applications on the device, something strange in a TV Box.
Finally, The patent filed also includes a strong emphasis on the social functions of the Sonos TV, with a section called “Friends & Family.” The request suggests that new users will be encouraged to connect with contacts who also use Sonos TV during the setup process. Those contacts can then recommend content to each other, which Sonos will highlight in the “Friends & Family” section of the app. Recommended content from platforms such as IMDb may also appear in this section.
And not only that, the Sonos TV would also implement a function designed to solve the “problem” of what to watch as a family. The application will include a “Sail together” mode which can be started when several people are present and which will help you decide what to watch that night. The Sonos TV would use personalization at all times and can, for example, display different suggested content depending on the time of day.
In addition, the Sonos TV will allow a user, for example, to start watching a movie on the living room television and then go on to watch the movie on their mobile phone while taking out the trash, to finally finish watching the movie through a second. television in the bedroom, the patent document explains. Like is logic The company has not confirmed any of this, so it could remain in one of the hundreds of patents that technology companies usually file. But it looks like, at some point, we will have a Sonos TV on the market.
Via | Lowpass