Listening a little longer with Dani
Current Role: Senior Voice Experience Designer
Years at Sonos: 1.5 years
What got you interested in this field?
D: I learned about AI voice interfaces a few years back, and thought it could revolutionize the way we interact with our devices for some use cases. Speaking is one of the first things we learn to do, and speech can easily and quickly convey amounts of information that would take much longer with other interfaces (for instance, by touching a screen). Plus I love working on technologies that are still in their infancy. So I decided to give it a go and work in the industry, and I’m really happy I did!
What attracted you to Sonos?
D: The short answer is the voice interface startup I was working in, Snips, was acquired by Sonos. But music has always been my thing (ever since I first listened to Reptilia by The Strokes at the age of 14). So when the acquisition talks started, I was super happy about the chance of putting our technology to work for Sonos’ customers. After joining the company I realized that not only Sonos has a great set of products that one can be proud of working on - but it’s also an amazing company to work for!
What keeps you at Sonos?
D: A mix of several things.
First of all, its people, at all levels. Everyone is talented, motivated and full of energy and enthusiasm. It’s a great pleasure to work with such a group of people.
Second, I feel like we have great leaders in the company. They take great care of us, they set company directions that make a lot of sense and, in general, they are people to look up to that I deeply admire.
Third, the product is also an important variable. It feels great to work on such a cutting-edge set of products, solving very interesting problems to create great user experiences, and seeing the impact on millions of people enjoying sound thanks to our collective effort.
And last but not least, and even if this doesn’t affect my day-to-day work, I’m super proud of working in a sound company that involves musicians, producers, movie makers, etc. in the product development cycle. Isn’t that super cool?!
What is the most interesting technical challenge you’ve gotten to work on?
D: I can’t really speak about specific products and projects I have worked on, because they haven’t still been released to the public! But the team I’m part of works on exploring the future of voice interfaces. Very interesting things coming for the next few years, stay tuned!
What are you most excited about in the future of this field?
D: Voice interfaces can still be improved a lot. There is still a margin to make them more natural, personal and snappy than the current industry standards. Plus, the music use case is one of the most typical ones for users, but also one of the most complex. I would love to see a music voice interface be like that friend that knows loads about music and knows exactly what you want to listen to, even if you don’t know it yourself (yet). Lots of things to work on!
At Sonos we have many creative passions beyond our day job: musicians, audiophiles, tinkerers, creators, chefs, artists,...what do you love to do when you are not working?
D: I’m an extremely social person, so I spend most of my free time with friends and family. I also enjoy writing non-fiction, even if I don’t do it as often as I would like to. I get a lot of satisfaction from taking technical topics (e.g. the future of work with AI, the rise of self-driving cars and their impact on society…), learning about them to then summarizing, structuring and explaining them in a way that anybody can understand. I also like adding a bit of humor here and there.
What are you listening to these days?
D: I’ve had a crush with Tame Impala’s last album “The Slow Rush” for the last year or so. And, even if as a Spaniard I don’t usually listen to Spanish music, I’ve been binge-listening to C. Tangana’s album “El Madrileño” a lot too.