The Request

Known for exceptionally well-designed audio products, Sonos wanted to further advance the user experience of their next generation of wireless speakers. The new concept called for a sleek touch interface that could handle gestural inputs, but there were concerns about technical feasibility, especially in the face of looming deadlines. Sonos partnered with Mindtribe to determine whether the interface could be developed to meet high performance requirements in time for inclusion in their new Play:5 speaker.

The Work

In addition to blazing speed, the project required incorporating inputs from many stakeholders, including industrial design, engineering, and hardware vendors. To quickly solicit and integrate feedback into iterative prototyping, Mindtribe’s team co-worked with Sonos in Santa Barbara throughout the project. This created a tight feedback loop that, after just one week, enabled Mindtribe to show five different approaches proving the feature’s technical feasibility. With the short timeline in mind, Mindtribe continued to iterate on prototypes that not only supported user trials but also enabled Sonos to hit key product development milestones.

The Outcome

Within a few weeks, Mindtribe was able to deliver a cosmetic, functional prototype that adhered to the final industrial design and also fulfilled all specifications for the touch interface. Sonos integrated the functionality of these prototypes into the final design of their product, launching the Play:5 in November 2015. The Play:5 received glowing reviews for sound quality, ease of use, and design from noted publications including Ars Technica, PCWorld, and TechRadar.