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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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.

November 16, 2020

[Watch] How to Incorporate Sustainability into Your Product Development Process

Learn about the methods the Synapse team has developed for understanding how to achieve sustainability goals for a new product in this TEDx Talk with Mechanical Engineering Tech Lead, Will Harrison.

See what else is new...

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.

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.