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Meet Sanni Siltanen: a fearless tech professional and passionate advocate of getting more girls into tech.

Working in R&D at KONE where life is never boring, Sanni knows a thing or two about augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and all the other cool tech buzzwords that we often pretend we know all about.

Sanni wants to actively encourage more girls to choose a career in technology.

She hopes her experiences as an augmented reality pioneer and the exciting collaborative projects she’s spearheaded since joining KONE will help inspire the next generation of tech junkies...

Meet Sanni Siltanen: augmented reality pioneer

We were keen to learn more about her early career journey:

“I got my master’s degree in applied mathematics, and after graduating (1999), I started at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland where I researched computer vision and augmented & mixed reality.

I am one of augmented reality pioneers in Finland. Alongside working at VTT, I undertook postgraduate studies at Aalto University in my spare time.

During my postgraduate degree I specialized in machine learning, computer vision, data visualization, and augmented and virtual reality.

I first obtained a licentiate degree and then doctoral degree in Science in Technology. My doctoral thesis was about developing augmented reality solutions through user involvement.”

What was behind your brave move to KONE?

Sanni’s move to KONE centered on her desire to see ground-breaking technology applied to industry:

“By the end of my VTT career I was leading one of the world's best augmented reality research teams.

At some point I realized that the technologies that I had been developing had become mature enough to be applied in an industrial context...and on the other hand I had also been curious as to what kind of new challenges working in industry would offer me.

So, I decided to make a courageous career move from applied research to industrial R&D. I started at KONE in 2016 as an Expert in Innovative Maintenance Methods.”

What is your current role all about?

Sanni’s time at KONE has allowed her to explore issues from multiple vantage points:

“My role has evolved during the past years.

Currently, I am excited about renewed technology management and my role as Augmented Worker theme owner.

We are redesigning the field and office experience together with KONE units and our partners.

On the one hand, I am focusing on the maintenance technician viewpoint and how we can support their work with new technologies such as XR (extended reality), smart glasses, cameras, and how they can best utilize context relevant information in the field.

On the other hand, I am investigating how we can use XR technologies in product development to enhance the way we work.”

What fuels your work?

“As a person, I am interested in many different subjects, and I get easily excited about new challenges and opportunities.

Throughout my career I have had opportunities to do a variety of tasks and projects and use my versatile skills.

At KONE I have prepared and led joint funded research projects, pre-concept projects, and start-up collaboration projects.

I have run experiments on new technologies (mainly related to XR and the field worker experience).

I have pioneered several inventions and productized camera-based maintenance tools that are currently used for troubleshooting in the field.

One great example of a collaborative project is the DYNAVIS research project which is a proof-of-concept, looking at how field workers access information (published as scientific research paper here).

There is also this cool collaboration with Aalto University on how AI can be used to upskill people at work.

Of course, all of this has been achieved with the help of my wonderful colleagues.”

What fuels your enthusiasm for KONE?

“I love working with great colleagues, and we have plenty of those at KONE!

One of the things I find inspiring about KONE is the diversity of the experts we have working here.

I deeply appreciate my colleagues for all their different backgrounds and viewpoints; for example, just in my current projects, I am working with experts in maintenance methods, engineering, data analytics, software, information architecture and design, technical documentation...

Everyday, I learn new things from others.

I collaborate with different organizations and people at KONE, as well as universities and industrial companies.”

What makes KONE a great place to work?

“The diversity combined with a culture based on trust enables my team to think outside the box and continuously innovate.

I also want to let people know that tech is fun. I would like to see more girls choose a tech career: there are many different possible roles and opportunities (as my experiences demonstrate).

Why not check out our career pages: maybe your next role is here as well? Or maybe you have something new to offer us on our next project?

Feel free to get in touch with me on LinkedIn if you’d like to know more. I am happy to talk about anything…like how to improve the field worker experience with context relevant information or how we use XR technologies here at KONE!

Interested in what KTI has been up to? Read Asmo Tenhunen’s blog on the DX class elevator project next!

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Sanni Siltanen
Industrial X Reality & Innovation & Research expert at KONE Technology and Innovation