Apollo /  Student Project /  2014

Design Brief

Long distant relationship needs a better communication to keep their relationship going. With the integration of the technology, our goal was to come up with an exciting solution for long distant relationship couples to lighten up their romance even when they are not physically together. 

Sponsored by 

Design Approach

Excitement and adventure is an essential part of a successful relationship. Many couples believe that their romance was still alive when they were exploring something together. Millennials are strongly tightened with music just like the any other generations. Music defines generations, cultures, and tastes of the individuals that it has powerful effects in building relationships with others, expressing emotions and the way people perceive things. Scientists claimed that couple can become physically aligned without having physical contact. Some couples are so in tune that their brains synchronize. 






Interface Design 


Jeff Higashi

Brian Boyl


Tetsugaku Sasahara

Jeansoo Hyun

Manato Ushiyama

Dailyn Kim


September 2014

- December 2014

Music could be a form of expression of your emotions and feelings.

What if your emotions and feelings have its own sounds?

And what if the world is your instruments and the sound alters depending on how you see it?

Concept Description

Apollo is a headset that translates tactile senses from one's body into sounds that are unique to the individuals depending on how they perceive things. It introduces a new way to discover and interact with one another through creating music together by touch of the surroundings, no matter how far they are at.

Use Case Scenario
Research Highlights on Millennials Music Culture and Trends

Music Defines

Whether gathered around old radio of the past or tuning in to our latest playlists on iTunes, music has provided identity to individuals and time of life.

Music as Transcendental

You know what music is? It’s God’s reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe, a harmonic connection between all living things, everywhere, even the stars.

Trend: Co-creation

Fans are starting to have an input on the creation of music, via social media. Fans are making cover videos and parodies of songs and artists reply with positivity.

Music as Memory

“Remember the first song we danced to?” used to be the most overrated quotes, for a good reason. Music is a common mnemonic device. It evokes memories.

Millennials and Music

Music is used in marketing and advertisement to help ensure connections. You’re seeing it today from many brands, take for instance Jay-Z with Samsung last June.

Life Music Branding

Attending a live branded music experience drives 65% of people to recommend the brand and 59% to buy it at retail afterwards.

Music Syncs

Musicians who perform with another show an interesting pattern in the brainwaves with each other. Their brains start to synchronize.

Technology Research
How Brain Works

Touch Receptors

The epidermis catches signals of someone or something that is in contact with your body, and where it is in contact physically.

Neurons Transmit 

The muscles transmit a signal via spinal cord and the medulla. This signal is carried all the way to your brain.

Increased Brain Activity 

The brain registers where the contact was and an activity in the brainwaves occur. This contributes to one’s ability to feel touch.

EEG Biosensors


Brain controlled devices like Neurosky headset, EPOC Emotiv, brain controlled quadcopters, and Neurofocus are already introduced. EGG Biosensor technology detects concentration, working memory, focus and relaxation through brainwaves, then translates it into an action. 

Taking this technology to another level, we dived deeper into human emotions and moods that affects differently to our brainwaves.

Somato sensory cortex

How Touch is Translated to Sound?


In the center of the head under the area where a headset is placed, there is a section of a brain that is called Somato sensory cortex. When the skin dictates a person’s sense of touch, this part of the brain activates and when the brainwave is activated, the blood flows along the surface where it was touched and these could be captured by a sensor.


The somatic senses can be broken down into four different interactions by registering touch and perception. It is registered through the pressure in the skin, vibration along skin, temperature change on skin, and the stretching of the skin. Four of these different actions cause different brainwave actions along the somato-sensory cortex. Because everyone has gone through different experiences in life, brainwaves tend to act differently along how the touch senses are registered.

Somato-sensory brain activity breakdown.

Studies showing brainwave activites vary from person to person based on their past individual experiences.

Idea Sketch
Product Features
Micro USB Charging Port

The charging port and the battery are located at the back, inside the elastic band that wraps the back of the head. The bone conduction earpieces are directly connected to this battery.

Bone Conduction Earpieces
Bone conduction earpiece allows you to hear the sounds of surroundings while jamming with someone online.
Somato Sensory Cortex
Somato sensory cortex in the brain that dictates a person’s sense of touch. When the skin dictates a person’s sense of touch, this part of brain activates brainwaves that could be captured by a sensor.
Head Band With Embedded Neuro Sensors 
The inner head band that is made of silicone cushion is embedded with EEG biosensors to capture all sensory inputs from Somato sensory cortex.
Sound Controlling Actions: Touches and Gestures
Pressure, vibration, temperature change, and stretching on skin cause different brainwave actions along the Somato sensory cortex.
Tap for sound

Tap on something quickly to create a short, focused sound. Because the time of skin contact is concise, the sound created will rely heavily on the hardness and temperature of the surface.

Pressure for intensity
The brain registers the tension on your skin so you can control the intesity and volume of the sound you are playing. The harder you hit or press, the more intense and louder the sound.
Drag to manipulate

When you drag your skin along a surface, the brain will register the texture and consistency to elongate and bend the sound.

Hot or cold
Depending on the temperature of the surface you are touching, the brain registers it differently and creates different sounds.
Sound of emotion.
Touch is translated into sounds that are unique to the individuals depending on how people perceive things.

Everything is touch oriented that you can create or modify to your own gestures.

Start record.
Bite lip
User Interface
Apollo app allows you to connect to jam, record, and share the records with others.
Send invitation
UX Wireframes
Presentation Wall

Final presentation at ArtCenter College of Design.

Simulation of sounds. Three objects with different textures and rigidity: clock, orange, and sponge generate different sounds.


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© Dailyn Kim

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