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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September 15, 2020

How Smart Technologies Can Help Fight Wildfires

Utilities like electricity are crucial during emergencies, but they can also be the cause. So what can we do to prevent potential catastrophes and be prepared when they do happen? With wildfires ravaging our local cities, we decided to take a look at what technologies like edge AI, inductive energy harvesting, and secure long-range wireless mesh networks could do to help paint a more detailed picture for utilities of the current status of their electrical infrastructure.

July 22, 2020

The Alpha Prototype: Be Smart or Look Good (It’s Hard to Do Both!)

Are you a startup developing a prototype needed to reach your next fundraising milestone? Or are you on the path to mass production? Either way, there's an Alpha prototype in your future—but, they're not all created equal. Ian Graves, Mechanical Engineering Program Lead, describes a few different Alpha prototype scenarios and discusses some of the downsides and highlights of each.

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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.

December 4, 2019

[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.