Suggestion: follow mode

  • 23 May 2019
  • 7 replies
  • 190 views

In a multi-room setup it would be useful to have only the closest speaker active, i.e. other speakers fade out as you leave a room and fade in once you enter a room.

7 replies

There are numerous discussions about this. I suggest that your search for and read through a few of them. Basically, this is not a feature that can simply be added to a system. the system and installation must be designed around this point and the physics are very difficult.

And, there are some management issues. For example, if the music is "following" you and you walk into my office, which music prevails? Further, while it might be nice to follow you while working (cleanup, painting, etc.) in the home, "follow" might not be appreciated if you stick your head into a room to check on sleeping kids.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
How does the system know where you are? You could wear a HoloLens perhaps, it knows where you are by scanning the room geometry. Not exactly ideal, but you can control your Sonos with a Hololens today, though no location tracking, see https://www.facebook.com/Phonos.application/videos/1321403691203671/
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
You could also possibly do something like this with occupancy/motion sensors placed throughout your home. Obviously, these are used with alarm systems and starting to be used with A/C systems in the home. There are also stand alone devices where the home owner can program what they want to happen when a sensor determines someone is in the room. You could theoretically build your own follow me program(s), but it would be a lot of work, and probably not as response enough to give a satisfactory result.

Feels like a feature that we're just not quite ready for yet. And there would be privacy concerns as well.
Not really that hard if you have a home automation system. You group all of the rooms that you want to participate (exclude kids bedrooms from the group). Mute all of the players in the group. Use Philips Hue motion sensors in each room to detect when they are occupied and set up routines in your home automation system to unmute players when the corresponding motion sensor is tripped and mute the room again when the motion sensor times out. The routines are simple menu driven things that are easily set up in most home automation systems and the Hue motion sensors are pretty good at accurately tracking if a room is occupied even if you are mostly sitting still.
How does Hue know that it is me, not a housemate?

Actually, there is technology from 1960's that can detect individuals. It was used for telephone "follow me" calls in industrial/office settings. The tracked individual wore an ultrasonic beacon.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Would you have the original room turn off
Not really that hard if you have a home automation system. You group all of the rooms that you want to participate (exclude kids bedrooms from the group). Mute all of the players in the group.

Why wouldn't you have a room simply add/leave a group as opposed to mute and un-mute? And I imagine that such a routine would need to factor in the expected volume in each room.

Use Philips Hue motion sensors in each room to detect when they are occupied and set up routines in your home automation system to unmute players when the corresponding motion sensor is tripped and mute the room again when the motion sensor times out.


Would it make sense to mute existing rooms when motion is detected in a new room? That would be a problem with multiple people in the house I guess.

The routines are simple menu driven things that are easily set up in most home automation systems and the Hue motion sensors are pretty good at accurately tracking if a room is occupied even if you are mostly sitting still.


I still have doubts that the system would really be responsive enough to meet the requirement. Ideally, you want to the music to be playing before you arrive in the room, not a second or two after. That would require a level of sensing that can detect that you are heading out of a room and what room you are headed to.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Great discussion everyone! I'll make sure to pass along the suggestion to the team as a request. We don't share most plans so I can't confirm if this is something that might make it into the product one day, but I'll make sure the team sees your idea.

Reply