University of Washington

Sonos Challenge: University of Washington

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


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.

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
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 won the UW Sonos Challenge. In their words: “Express and embrace your feelings, fill the room with your energy and your emotions with & 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 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!

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.


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

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