Sonos

Sonos Challenge: University of Washington

October 9th, 2018 | In partnership with Sonos and the University of Washington | University of Washington, Seattle

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Sonos Challenge:

University of Washington

October 9th, 2018

On Tuesday, October 9th, over 100 University of Washington students came together for a kickoff event in partnership with Real Industry and Sonos to answer this question: How do we design or build an experience that delivers the right sound, at the right moment, into people's lives?  The Real Industry team was thrilled to join Sonos in Seattle for the second year in a row.

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Last year, over 100 University of Washington students, with different and complementary levels of skill in digital signal processing, computer science, and machine learning, got together and shared a fine set of experiences. These students were able to apply the concepts that they learned in usual classroom and lab instruction. It was really nice to watch them experience the importance of their creativity in their work. Moreover, they were also able to bring some exciting new concepts back as future research and class projects.
— Professor Les Atlas, Signal Processing and Machine Learning Researcher, University of Washington

Smart speakers are transforming how we enjoy music, access information, and interact with our homes. Industry mentors from Sonos are facilitating a challenge in which university students design smart speaker experiences that improve the moments in our daily lives. Over the course of two weeks, students will use Sonos hardware and software to explore this prompt, build something, and communicate the engineering and business value behind their accomplishments.

I enjoyed the Real Industry-Sonos events last year in Boston and Seattle. For me, the fact that the students were exposed to a broad cross section of the development process, including ideation, product management, and design, as well as the actual coding, was particularly appealing. I’m excited to see what students do this year with our open developer platform.
— Matt Welch, Product Manager, Sonos
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Today’s university students are the future leaders of industry...By partnering with Sonos and the University of Washington, we’re able to give students unprecedented access to real-world challenges, technologies, and career opportunities.
— Jay LeBoeuf, founder and Executive Director of Real Industry

The Sonos Challenge empowers university students to get experience with technology and innovation in an industry they’re passionate about, all while receiving mentorship from professionals in the field. This partnership between Real Industry and Sonos provides students with opportunities they would not have otherwise accessed.

Team Feel.io won the UW Sonos Challenge. In their words: “Express and embrace your feelings, fill the room with your energy and your emotions with Feel.io & SONOS. Together, we deliver the right music, at the right moment, in….to your life. As soon as you say the magic wake-word: ”Feelio!” The embedded microphone will turn on and our artificial intelligence algorithm will listen to your humming, go through the music library in the cloud, and locate the particular song. At the same time, we identify songs with a similar vibe or in the same genre and play them back to you through your SONOS speaker. It is the best way to celebrate your current mood, discover and explore music.”

Congratulations to the Feel.io team: Xu Yan, Computer Science, Zoe Zou, Master in Science and Technology Innovation, Hal Zhang, Electrical Engineering, and Padraic Casserly, Technology Innovation, Bio-Chemistry. Check out their video below!

Sonos Challenge: Boston

October 4th, 2018 | In partnership with Sonos | Sonos Headquarters, Boston

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Today’s university students are the future leaders of industry...By partnering with Sonos and Boston-area universities, we’re able to give students unprecedented access to real-world challenges, technologies, and career opportunities.
— Jay LeBoeuf, founder and Executive Director of Real Industry

On Thursday, October 4th, students coming from universities across the Greater Boston Area came together for a kickoff event in partnership with Real Industry and Sonos to answer this question: How do we design or build an experience that delivers the right sound, at the right moment, into people's lives?  These students hailed from Tufts University, Northeastern University, Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, Emerson College, Wellesley College, Berklee College of Music, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Clark University, and more.

Smart speakers are transforming how we enjoy music, access information, and interact with our homes. Industry mentors from Sonos are facilitating a challenge in which university students design smart speaker experiences that improve the moments in our daily lives. Over the course of two weeks, students will use Sonos hardware and software to explore this prompt, build something, and communicate the engineering and business value behind their accomplishments.

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I enjoyed the Real Industry-Sonos events last year in Boston and Seattle. For me, the fact that the students were exposed to a broad cross section of the development process, including ideation, product management, and design, as well as the actual coding, was particularly appealing. I’m excited to see what students do this year with our open developer platform.
— Matt Welch, Product Manager, Sonos

The Sonos Challenge empowers university students to get experience with technology and innovation in an industry they’re passionate about, all while receiving mentorship from professionals in the field. This partnership between Real Industry and Sonos provides students with opportunities they would not have otherwise accessed.

A team of 3 Tufts University students won the Boston Sonos Challenge. Chris Markus, Electrical Engineering  ‘20, Katie Elliott, EE ‘20, and Allie Lam, Applied Math/Music Technology ‘20, created OurSound, a group listening solution.

Their project was an integrated, collaborative music recommendation solution, built upon the Spotify and Sonos APIs. The app allows groups of listeners to enjoy a music playlist creating based on their shared listening preferences, easily controlled by intuitive controls, on a Sonos system.

The team received $1,200 in Sonos speakers and a chance to present their submissions to Sonos leaders.

A huge congrats to Chris, Katie, and Allie! Check out the OurSound video below.

Pandora Challenges 2017 In Review

October 4, 2017, October 9, 2017, October 11, 2017, October 21, 2017 | In partnership with BloodPop®, USC Thornton Music Industry Program, Manchester Orchestra, 1 Million 4 Anna, and the MTSU Music Business program, Common, and the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program, Jack Antonoff, The Ally Coalition, and the UMass Lowell Music Business and Recording Technology Programs


In 2017, Real Industry and Pandora empowered the next generation of media, music, and business leaders on a US campus tour. Over 1,200 students worked with major artists (Tegan and Sara, Common, Jack Antonoff, Manchester Orchestra, and BloodPop®) to support the artist’s Foundations (The Ally Coalition, Tegan and Sara Foundation, Common Ground Foundation, Make Yourself Foundation, 1 Million 4 Anna, Made of Music) Student’s applied their music and business skills towards real-world awareness and social impact campaigns for mental health, cancer research, helping students and musicians in underserved communities, and LGBT equality. Students had exclusive access to Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform and real-world data provided by Pandora and Next Big Sound.

University of Washington Sonos Challenge

November 16, 2017  |  In partnership with University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering. #SonosChallenge

Sonos and Real Industry are transforming how university students prepare for industry. Smart speakers are transforming how we enjoy music, access information, and interact with our homes. This month, over 200 University of Washington students had the unique opportunity to work with leaders from Sonos in a design challenge to build a new smart speaker experience that improves someone’s daily life.

“There is a synergistic belief that great opportunity exists at the intersection of technology and music. Both Real Industry and Sonos sought to play at this intersection, and believe that upcoming grads will drive the future in this space.”
— Susan Monaghan, Director of University Programs, Sonos

Organized by Real Industry, Sonos, and hosted by University of Washington Electrical Engineering, the event kicked off on November 16th. University of Washington student teams met with industry experts from Sonos to learn more about the design challenge, and then had 10 days to develop a working prototype. Winning teams were awarded Sonos One speakers and given invitations to interview for full-time and internship positions at Sonos.

“There is a surprising amount of technical complexity within a seemingly simple smart speaker,” said Ron Kuper, SW Director, Advanced Concepts Lab, Sonos. “It’s a problem space that touches a broad spectrum of hardware and software domains, so there’s bound to be something for everyone."  

“The massively growing smart home and smart speaker market is the perfect opportunity for young engineers and innovators to gain valuable skills” said Priyanka Shekar, Program Director, Real Industry.

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The winners of Sonos One speakers were:

Sound Transition - a solution that automatically transitions between Sonos speakers as a listener transitions between rooms. 
Akshay Randad - Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)
Abdullah Othman - Electrical Engineering
Akshay Chalana - Computer Science/2019
Ashwin Badrinath - Electrical Engineering/2019
Shipra Gupta - Information Management/2018

Beamforming - a system to allow 2 listeners, in the same room, to listen at different volume levels. 
Colin Pate - Electrical Engineering/2019
Muhammad Farooq - Electrical Engineering/2019
Dhanush Kannagola - Electrical Engineering/2019
Jordan Drew - Electrical Engineering/2019
Glenn Paden - Electrical Engineering/2019

An Intelligent Speaker That Can Recognize Your Voice - adds functionality to identify the which person is controlling the Sonos system.
Alvin Cao - Electrical Engineering
Ege Gurmericliler - Computer Science & Engineering, Graduate Visiting
Emilien Pilloud - Computer Science & Engineering, Graduate Visiting


EXAmple Student Submissions

Tufts University Sonos Challenge

September 28, 2017  |  In partnership with Tufts Gordon Institute and Tufts Computer Science Exchange #sonoschallenge

Sonos and Real Industry are transforming how university students prepare for industry. Smart speakers are transforming how we enjoy music, access information, and interact with our homes. This Fall, over 250 students at Tufts University and University of Washington will prepare for careers and design smart speaker experiences to improve daily life. 

This month, over 100 Tufts students had the unique opportunity to work with leaders from Sonos in a design challenge to build a new smart speaker experience that improves someone’s daily life.

“We’re thrilled to work with Tufts students and our partners, because the next generation of technology leaders are here [at Tufts],” said Jay LeBoeuf, Executive Director, Real Industry. Sonos and Real Industry chose Tufts as a location for the challenge because of its strong interdisciplinary academic programs in engineering and entrepreneurship, and the potential for Tufts students to have an impact on the field.

Organized by Real Industry, Sonos, and hosted by Tufts Gordon Institute and Tufts Computer Science Exchange, the event kicked off on Sept. 28. Tufts University student teams met with industry experts from Sonos to learn more about the design challenge, and then had 10 days to develop a working prototype. Winners were awarded Sonos One speakers, invitations to attend the companies’ Sonos Hack Day at Sonos’ Boston office, and invitations to interview for full-time positions at Sonos.

Tufts students were the first university students to have access to the pre-release Sonos API. “There is a surprising amount of technical complexity within a seemingly simple smart speaker,” said Ron Kuper, SW Director, Advanced Concepts Lab, Sonos. “It’s a problem space that touches a broad spectrum of hardware and software domains, so there’s bound to be something for everyone."  

“The massively growing smart home and smart speaker market is the perfect opportunity for young engineers and innovators to gain valuable skills” said Priyanka Shekar, Program Director, Real Industry.

“There is a synergistic belief that great opportunity exists at the intersection of technology and music. Both Real Industry and Sonos sought to play at this intersection, and believe that upcoming grads will drive the future in this space.”
— Susan Monaghan, Director of University Programs, Sonos

The winners were:
·Bonker: iOS app that starts a music playlist playing on Sonos based on an input photo
Team: Ali Decker, BSEP ’18, Woody Shortridge, Human-Computer Interaction certificate ‘19
·Ultrasonic Tracker: Hardware system for adjusting playback based on user location
Team: Shadath Chowdhury, BSEE ’19, Harrison Downs, BSCS ’19, Davis Franklin, BS, Physics ’18, Chanel Richardson, BSCE ‘20
·Wake Up Remix: Software to play your wake up music in sync with your sleep cycle
Team: Hermes Suen, BSME ’19, Eric Chen, BSCS ’19, Fabio Vera, BSCS ’19, Zack Nassar, BSBME ’19, and Thomas Coons, BSME ’19.

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Student Submissions

Careers in Media Technology at NYU

July 1-2, 2017  |  In partnership with Dolby, Bose, Sonos, Spotify, and Pandora.

In this 2 day workshop, students learned 10 key industry roles from the world’s leading digital media, consumer electronics, and music companies. Participants were able to build their portfolio and industry skills, as well as meet industry pros as they work on real-world product design challenges to commercialize new products.