The Decelerator Helmet – A slow motion for Real Life

By: Lorenz Potthast
Source: http://vimeo.com/lorenzpotthast

German Version: https://vimeo.com/44615898 || See also: www.ciaokaesten.de

The Decelerator Helmet is a experimental approach for dealing with our fast moving society. The sense of vision is consigned to an apparatus which allows the user a perception of the world in slow motion.

In a increasingly hectic, overstimulated and restless environment are the calls for deceleration omnipresent. The inconceivably amount of information and influences in our everyday lives leads in many cases to an excessive demand.The idea to decouple the personal perception from the natural timing enables the user to become aware of his own time.
In the inside of the helmet the video-signal of a camera is processed by a small computer. The slowed-down images are displayed right before the user’s eyes via a head-mounted display and are simultaneously shown on a monitor on the outside.
The helmet has three different modes which can be selected by a remote control:
In the auto-mode time is slowed down automatically and re-accelerated after a defined interval. The press-mode allows the specific deceleration of time. In the scroll-mode the user can completely control the speed of the elapsing of time.
The Decelerator gives the user the possibility to reflect about the flow of time in general and about the relation between sensory perception, environment and corporality in particular. Also it dramatically visualizes how slowing down can potentially cause a loss of the present.

PROJECT INFO:
The idea for the project was born in a Interaction Design course at the University of Art in Bremen, Germany (http://www.hfk-bremen.de/). The course, taught by Prof. Tanja Diezmann, was called “Back on focus – Less is more” and dealt with topics concerning the increasingly hectic, overstimulated and restless environment we are living in.
After the course i continued working on the project and built a fully operational prototype. After some first tests i choosed the aluminum sphere as a metaphor for a reflection bubble, a space where you are decoupled from your environment and start thinking about your own relation to time.
I used the VLC player for the videoplayback and wrote a program in vvvv to change speed of time via the remote control.
So far the Decelerator was shown at the annual Exhibition of the University of the Arts Bremen, the Inside Interaction Conference and the BestOf HfK Exhibition.

TECHNICAL INFO:
Netbook: Asus Eee PC 1001,
vvvv
VLC Player
Webcam: Microsoft LiceCam
Head-Mounted Display : Sony Glasstron PLM S700
Wireless Mouse

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