The recent moves by Sonos can only be explained as targets towards expanding its connected ecosystem of smart devices and beyond. The wireless speaker company from Santa Barbara California, sometime last year acquired a French company that provides embedded assistants and interfaces for devices that run locally and offline. Of recent, the company set out to add to its league of acquisition the British data-over-sound company, Chirp.io.
Aimed at simplifying device-to-device connectivity via sound, Chirp, which was founded in 2011 at the Computer Science department of University College London, recognized the growing need for seamless low-cost, low power and frictionless communication between devices in the emerging IoT world. They pioneered a data-over-sound technology that creates simple-to-implement solutions to enhance connectivity and identification of machines. The technology helps to improve user experience and bring audio-capable devices into new possibilities thereby substantially lowering the cost for applications like proximity detection, device provisioning, and two-way acoustic NFC. They also capitalized on the digital signal processing capabilities of the Arm Cortex –M7 and Cortex-M4 to provide software-defined acoustic data transmission solutions which are quite robust and reliable, but not resource-intensive.
However, after working together with Sonos for a while now, Chirp has finally confirmed its been acquired by Sonos, describing it as “the perfect match for audio and wireless technology” since Sonos shares the same passion with them.
In an email sent to me, the chirp team mentioned that
“…Chirp has always held firm to a belief that robust, reliable data-over-sound could transform user experiences and bring new possibilities to audio-capable devices. Sonos shares this belief, alongside our common passions for engineering excellence, delightful user experience, and investment in research and development.”
The Chirp team has expressed their pleasure in seeing developers use their SDKs in a number of imaginative applications, but made it clear that starting from March 1ST, the Chirp SDK will no longer be available for users to download.
“…Having joined Sonos, access to the Chirp developer console will be closing on March 1st, meaning users will no longer be able to download Chirp SDK s after that date. If you are using an SDK that you have already downloaded for hobby or proof-of-concept work you can continue to do so freely.”
Meanwhile, these acquisitions will give Sonos a new set of talented employees to quickly bring them into a clear technology differentiation; achieving their goals without having to sacrifice their brand identity. Former CEO of Chirp and new Director of Sonos’ Emerging Technologies already confirmed that efforts with Chirp’s data-over-sound technology will now be focused on Sono’s personal Research and Development program.