Technology widens our senses

[2017-07-05] Improved safety aspects, and also enhanced experiences are at the focal point of Rouien Zarin’s research. He designs prototypes for situations that require concentration and coordination, for instance when practising various forms of extreme sports.

Rouien Zarin came to Umeå to take his Master’s at Umeå Institute of Design. Photo: Johan Gunséus

Rouien Zarin studies sports in relation to technology, and is developing construction solutions to enhance the experience of training. He has studied various materials, sensors and reconnection mechanisms to find the most appropriate way to make users aware of information during sporting events such as cycling or skiing.

The handlebars are equipped with a pulsating mechanism, and a gps system connected to the mechanism provides information on upcoming changes in terrain or course.

Pulsating mechanism

Rouien Zarin has developed an interface conveying route information to mountain bike cyclists without them having to take their eyes off the road.

​The handlebars are equipped with a pulsating mechanism, and a gps system connected to the mechanism provides information on upcoming changes in terrain or course.

New gadgets pop up all the time, so what makes your research stand out?

“There’s an array of connected, portable devices on the market, but there’s still a need for in-depth focus on creating a more meaningful experience. When we use computers in and around our bodies, they become more intimate. This puts great demand on technology to not make us lose focus, but rather offer support. To build a good relation to technology, we must pay better attention to the situations where these interactions can occur. At best, a gadget can kill the aesthetic experience of physical exercise. At worst, it can increase risks of dangerous situations.”

What importance can your research have?

“My research shows that the placement of technology can contribute to widening our human senses in a safe way and simultaneously increase awareness of the world around us. Maybe we should stop thinking about mobile technology as devices, and instead see them as portable ecosystems. With that, I mean a constellation of devices that can be linked to other devices or services. These could be interesting on their own, but most importantly provide an even better result when combined.”

Text from Think no 1 2017
Text: Gunilla Stendahl
Translation: Anna Lawrence
Photo: Johan Gunséus

Editor: Anna Lawrence

Link to news:
http://www.umu.se/english/news/.cid284042