Many tech startups like to brag about having former employees of Silicon Valley giants among their ranks, but this is one that may have more of an impact than most. Financial Times sources say that ex-Apple design legend Christopher Stringer and engineer Afrooz Family are using their startup Syng to develop a “revolutionary” speaker system that would tackle both their former employer’s HomePod as well as Sonos’ home audio devices. Their upcoming Cell speakers would reportedly use a mix of Stringer’s design and Family’s audio engineering to produce “immersive rendering” whose sound would be “indistinguishable from reality,” according to the investment pitch.
This kind of hype is common among startups, but the two have some credibility to back up their boasts. Stringer has handled design work on numerous major Apple projects, including the HomePod as well as the Apple Watch and iPhone. Family, meanwhile, was key to designing the spatial audio system that lets the HomePod adjust its sound based on its location in the room — Apple’s speaker wouldn’t have its audio wizardry without him.