Ann Torres
Senior VP of Engineering

[Watch] Stop Yelling at Alexa, She Doesn’t Get You…Yet

The recent success of smart speakers has been a great leap in human-digital interaction, but there’s still a lot of space for developers and companies to cover to create smart devices and environments with truly engaging and intuitive interfaces. While voice command technology can handle simple tasks, the interaction can fall short because it has modest understanding of human intent.  

In this GeekWire Studios talk, Ann Torres, Senior VP of Engineering, discusses the successes and challenges of recent smart devices and how marrying voice command with technologies like gesture recognition, 3D mapping, and machine vision, can reduce frustrations and enable more natural and compelling interactions with our smart devices and environments.

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July 12, 2021

Modularity: The Greatest Product Design Step Towards a Circular Economy

Allan Engelhardt discusses the significant benefits of modular product design as he walks through 4 loops applicable to consumer products when considering a circular economy.

September 7, 2021

Data Resilience: How to Enable AI for the Real World

Delivering on AI’s potential starts with the data. Learn how to spot and address data quality challenges with this survey of the industry & research landscape on the role of data in machine learning-powered applications with real-world deployments.

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February 16, 2021

Fulfilling the Promise of Natural UI Through Inclusive Design

Connected devices are leveraging rapid developments in voice control and machine vision to enable more seamless user experiences known as natural user interfaces (UI) or zero UI. But “seamless” and “natural” to whom? And in what context? Combining physical and digital interfaces so that a product can support various modes of interaction results in the most accessible products and intuitive experiences.

October 6, 2020

Natural UI: 5 Design Tenets for Uniting Physical and Digital Interfaces

Consumers are seeking out Natural User Interfaces (NUIs)—technology that can be controlled by whatever method is most convenient in that moment, therefore blending seamlessly into our surroundings. Today’s smart devices attempt to achieve this by combining physical control interfaces with layers of digital innovation, from voice commands and gesture recognition to gaze tracking and machine vision. But is this a guaranteed improvement? Not without deliberate design.

September 8, 2020

Bringing Physical User Interfaces Back in a Connected World: An Intro to RPCIs

We believe that connecting products to the Internet and otherwise adding digital “smarts” to them can enable powerful new functionality and make products much more useful to their users. That being said, we care deeply about the user experience of physical products. We feel strongly that the industrial design and user experience of a product should be constricted as little as possible by the addition of digital technology. That’s why we started exploring the concept of reactive physical control interfaces (RPCIs)—physical controls that self-actuate in response to secondary digital control.