Lenbrook International, maker of high-resolution audio hardware and software solutions, is pleased to announce that a first set of Amazon Alexa Skills for its BluOS Hi-Res Distributed Audio platform, will be available January 15, 2019. Users of BluOS Enabled products from Bluesound, NAD Electronics, and DALI Speakers, will benefit from hands-free control of their music from any Amazon Echo device.

Amazon’s Alexa represents the first platform-wide voice control integration for BluOS in a broader voice control strategy that seeks to offer users a choice in which voice assistant they use. This strategy includes the creation of BluVoice, the voice-control interface that acts as the intermediary between BluOS and a compatible voice assistant. For example, BluOS users can ask their Echo device to deliver music playback commands to their BluOS Enabled device via BluVoice with phrases like, “Alexa, ask BluVoice to play preset 1 in the study,” or “Alexa, ask BluVoice to play new songs on Tidal”.

The strategy also opens up the possibilities of what can be controlled with voice assistants. With the first set of Alexa Skills to be published on January 15, 2019, BluOS users will be able to access popular or user-defined playlists from top music services, favourite radio stations, or adjust volume levels or group players together to sync music throughout the home. Some of these skills, like grouping and ungrouping players, as well as accessing playlists from a local library and not just from a streaming service, are examples of the rich voice control experience that BluOS’s implementation offers over others.

With the addition of voice control, BluOS users now have an even wider array of control options for high-resolution music management and multi-room playback, including from the BluOS Controller app for phones, tablets, and computers, IR remotes, hardware chassis controls, and home control integrations like Crestron, Control 4, and RTI.  

Comments Andrew Haines, BluOS Product Manager at Lenbrook International, “Voice control has been on the BluOS roadmap for some time, but we wanted to ensure that we delivered the most flexible approach for all of our customers. Externally integrating an Alexa Skill for BluOS is the first of many collaborations with the major voice platforms, ultimately giving BluOS users unrivalled choice in which voice system they use to control their music.”

The BluOS Alexa Skills deliver a raft of commands through any network-connected Echo device, including play/pause, next/back, shuffle on/off and managing the play queue for most user libraries and music services. Users can use voice commands to switch between inputs on any of their BluOS players, set default music services, preset radio stations or play from their network-connected personal music library. Using the power of the Alexa AI (and depending on the music service being listened to) users can ask what is playing or what track is up next, what album the track is from or the name of the artist. The list of commands will expand as various music services add more voice control functionality.

For more information about voice control in BluOS and enabling Alexa Skills on a BluOS device, visit BluOS.net/BluVoice.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.