Steve Hales

Steve Hales

Founder at Igor's Software Labs LLC

San Francisco Bay Area
Consumer Electronics

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Steve Hales's Overview

  • Founder at Igor's Software Labs LLC
  • VP Engineering at TribalBrands, Inc
  • Senior Audio Software Engineer, iPod at Apple, Inc
  • Systems Architect at Danger, Inc
  • Senior Mobile Games Designer at Danger, Inc
  • Senior Audio Software Architect at Danger, Inc
  • Director of Audio Technologies at Beatnik, Inc
  • Owner, Software Architect at Igor's Software Laboratories
  • Software Engineer at GO Corp
  • Software Engineer at Broderbund Software
  • Software Game Designer/Engineer at Synapse Software
  • Software Game Designer/Engineer at Starpath, Inc

464 connections


Steve Hales' Summary

I've been playing with software since I found out you could write code that broadcasted leaky frequencies from an Imsai S100 bus computer in the late ’70’s, and pick it up on an AM radio. Created video games in the 80’s for Synapse Software, and in the mid 90‘s created the first software MIDI synthesizer that ran on a first generation Mac. The first game that used is was Prince of Persia for Mac. Licensed that technology to Apple in 1992 for the first version of QuickTime Music Architecture. Then that software became the heart of Beatnik, Inc, and licensed it to Sun branded as JavaSound in 1997, and Nokia around 1999. Became part of the launch team at Danger, Inc, defining the mobile audio experience for the T-Mobile Sidekick, and onto building apps and popular games for the then launched Danger Catalog. Worked at Nest, the makers of a smart lovable thermostat. I love to build products, love to build teams by doing rather than telling, and love to share.

Lately, I've been doing various iOS/Android projects on a contract basis, and always looking for more ways to help my clients level up their skills and engineering quality.

Steve Hales' Experience


Igor's Software Labs LLC

October 2012Present (2 years) Palo Alto

Consulting for iOS and Android development.

Senior Software Engineer

Nest Labs

Public Company; 201-500 employees; Consumer Electronics industry

July 2011November 2012 (1 year 5 months) Palo Alto, CA

Software for UX, algorithms, system architecture.

Sr Software Engineer

Voxer LLC

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Telecommunications industry

July 2010July 2011 (1 year 1 month)

Member of the iOS client team. Focused on UI and audio.

Creative/Technical Director


Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Wireless industry

February 2009July 2010 (1 year 6 months)

Building a new mobile games studio focusing on iPhone and Android devices.

VP Engineering

TribalBrands, Inc

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Marketing and Advertising industry

October 2007February 2009 (1 year 5 months)

Created engineering best practices and built a new engineering team.

Senior Audio Software Engineer, iPod

Apple, Inc

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; AAPL; Consumer Electronics industry

July 2007September 2007 (3 months)

Consulting on various audio technologies.

Systems Architect

Danger, Inc

Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Computer Software industry

August 2006July 2007 (1 year)

Contributed to the media architecture to support video.

Senior Mobile Games Designer

Danger, Inc

Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Computer Software industry

March 2005August 2006 (1 year 6 months)

Managed a team of 4, plus one outside contractor to develop 5 games in one year for the newly created Danger Catalog.

Senior Audio Software Architect

Danger, Inc

Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Computer Software industry

July 2001June 2005 (4 years)

Designed the 1.0 - 3.0 audio architecture for the Danger OS. Mentored 2 replacements.

Director of Audio Technologies

Beatnik, Inc

Privately Held; 10,001+ employees; Computer Software industry

October 1996June 2001 (4 years 9 months)

Designed the Beatnik Audio Engine architecture, managed a small team, and oversaw the deployment of this technology into web browsers, JavaSound, embedded devices, and mobile phones. Over 200 million copies deployed worldwide.

Owner, Software Architect

Igor's Software Laboratories

October 1995October 1996 (1 year 1 month)

Designed the SoundMusicSys architecture with Jim Nitchals, and was the first to deploy a MIDI synthesizer that didn't use dedicated hardware. Was bought by Beatnik, Inc to bring it to a wider audience.

Software Engineer

GO Corp

January 1987August 1987 (8 months)

Graphics sub system engineer.

Software Engineer

Broderbund Software

January 1986January 1987 (1 year 1 month)

Did a complete redesign of Fantavision for the Amiga.

Software Game Designer/Engineer

Synapse Software

Public Company; 51-200 employees; TWX; Marketing and Advertising industry

March 1982August 1985 (3 years 6 months)

Design, coded software titles: Slime, Fort Apocalypse, Dimension X, Mindwheel, SynAssembler, music tools, copy protection.

Software Game Designer/Engineer

Starpath, Inc

May 1981February 1982 (10 months)

Reverse engineered the Atari 2600, wrote one of the launch titles, Suicide Mission for the Starpath Supercharger.

All done in 6502 assembly.

Steve Hales' Projects

  • SomaFM OSX app

    • January 2011 to November 2013
    Team Members: Steve Hales

    Ported the SomaFM iOS to OSX. New features.

  • SomaFM iOS app

    • December 2010 to November 2013
    Team Members: Steve Hales

    Building, maintaining iOS app, new features.

  • Mightybell iOS app

    • December 2012 to February 2013
    Team Members: Steve Hales

    Mightybell social networking app. Defined and built the initial app architecture, worked with the service team to define API calls to the app, and handled a smooth transition to the internal team.

  • SkyPro Swing Trainer iOS app

    • June 2012 to January 2013
    Team Members: Steve Hales, Paul Lamoreux

    Built a network communications layer to help manage data transfer between services and the app.

  • Nest Learning Thermostat

    • July 2011 to November 2012
    Team Members: Steve Hales

    Worked on the learning algorithms. Built a system to validate that this expert rule engine worked every time we changed code.
    Work on the device UX.

  • Voxer iOS app

    • July 2010 to July 2011
    Team Members: Steve Hales

    Worked on the iOS Voxer client. Focused on UI, and low level audio functionally. Codecs, etc.

  • Mighty Decider iOS app

    • February 2009 to July 2010

    Creative Director, Technical Director, coder. Worked with the Mighty Boosh to design a game around their great style and humor. Lead my team of 4 to build an app that sold well, and they were pleased with the results.

  • Hiptop/Sidekick 1.0 to 3.0

    • June 2001 to July 2007
    Team Members: Steve Hales
  • miniBAE interactive audio engine

    • July 1996 to June 2001
    Team Members: Steve Hales

    Interactive audio engine for games and mobile devices.

  • DentBetty - Car Dent Repair Marketplace

    • January 2013 to November 2013
    Team Members: Steve Hales, Paul Lamoreux

    Did the architecture for the iOS app. Initial UI design, contributed to some server design as related to mobile.

  • SkyPro Mobile to Server Communications Layer

    • 2013 to Present
    Team Members: Steve Hales, Paul Lamoreux, Gord Parke, Eytan Moudahi, BASc

    Built a network communication layer for the iOS app to connect and sync data to the servers.

Steve Hales' Patents

  • Apparatus and method for embedding content within a MIDI data stream

    • United States Patent 7,183,481
    Inventors: Steve Hales
  • Animated graphical user interface for a display screen or portion thereof for a control unit

    • United States Patent D677180
    Inventors: Steve Hales, Michael Plitkins, David Sloo

    • United States Patent 8370519
    Inventors: Steve Hales
  • System and method for location-based reminders on a mobile device

    • United States Patent 8558693
    Inventors: Steve Hales

Steve Hales' Skills & Expertise

  1. Embedded Systems
  2. Small Business
  3. Consumer Products
  4. Music
  5. Audio
  6. Codecs
  7. Sound Design
  8. Integration
  9. Sound
  10. C
  11. ARM
  12. C++
  13. Firmware
  14. Objective-C
  15. Android
  16. Mac OS X
  17. Mobile Games
  18. Game Design
  19. User Experience
  20. User Interface Design
  21. Software Architecture
  22. iPhone
  23. User Interface
  24. Mobile Applications
  25. Java
  26. iOS
  27. Team Leadership
  28. Technical Leadership
  29. Cross-functional Team Leadership
  30. Software Engineering
  31. iOS development
  32. Software Development
  33. Architecture
  34. OS X
  35. Core Audio
  36. Xcode
  37. Software Design
  38. Git
  39. Subversion
  40. System Architecture
  41. Mobile Devices
  42. Architectures

View All (42) Skills View Fewer Skills

Steve Hales' Education

Las Positas College

Computer Science


I started in my junior year of high school.

Steve Hales' Additional Information


international travel, software engineering, biking, game theory, people, creative process, music, politik, and oranges. :)

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