Why Dead Sonos Speakers Mean You’ll Never Own a Driverless Car

Tesla has changed the way we see cars and software

Sam Abuelsamid
OneZero
Published in
7 min readFeb 10, 2020

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A photo of a Sonos Move on a table in a kitchen.
A Sonos Move battery-powered Bluetooth smart speaker, taken on September 26, 2019. Photo: Phil Barker/Future Publishing/Getty Images

OOver the past 15 years or so, Sonos has established itself as the purveyor of pricey speaker systems that come with a unique twist. The company developed a proprietary wireless communication system that enabled multiple speakers to sync up for easy whole-home audio. But last month, Sonos announced that it will end support for many of its oldest wireless speakers. This is just the latest in a recent string of such moves by technology companies.

Over the past 40 years, as technology has permeated every aspect of our lives, many of us have become accustomed to a different pattern. For many of the things we use like computers, smartphones, or even speakers, the product itself can actually evolve and maybe even improve over the course of its lifecycle. If you use a computer, operating systems get periodic updates with new features and capabilities. The same is true of most mobile devices.

By the time the initial battery will no longer hold a charge, the core functionality of that device may have gone through multiple iterations. One of the best examples of this process is the Apple Watch. When it debuted in 2015, the software running on it had some interesting features, but much of it simply wasn’t that…

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Sam Abuelsamid
OneZero

Sam is a principal analyst leading Guidehouse Insights’ e-Mobility Research Service covering automated driving, electrification and mobility services