In the interdisciplinary project “Sound in Industrial Design”, four students from the Advanced Product Design and Interaction Design programs at the Umeå Institute of Design started a three-week collaboration to explore the powerful connection between sound, form, and interaction.
Our chosen design opportunity relates to active noise cancellation, a technology that has evolved in recent years into a standard feature for wireless headphones. While noise-canceling adds a great value in numerous use cases, new problems have arisen as a result of its continuous development and optimization: for example in urban areas, where electric cars and eScooters can be easily overheard while listening to music.
In only three weeks, we designed the conceptual product “aware,” a wearable sensor that provides an extra layer of safety for athletes in urban areas.
Using sound signals – placed in a 3D audio space – the sensor warns users about fast-approaching objects, without compromising the music listening experience.