Hi there! My name is Beren. I'm currently employed as Technical Lead for a multicultural team of five Software Engineers working on several iOS apps using Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence at Arbrea Labs AG in Zurich, Switzerland. Arbrea Labs is an ETH spin-off that focuses on visualizing the results of potential plastic surgery for patients and surgeons to help them make informed decisions.
Before migrating to Switzerland in June 2021, I finished a Ph.D. at the Human-Computer Interaction Group led by Michael Rohs at the University of Hannover in Germany. During my Ph.D., I focused on tactile feedback in Human-Computer Interaction. My main Ph.D. project was called HapticHead, a 24 tactile actuator display on the head. This interface can be used in Augmented and Virtual Reality scenarios for various applications such as guidance and navigation for people with visual impairments or increasing immersion in VR scenarios by playing back tactile features of the virtual world. Imagine feeling a raindrop hitting your head exactly where you'd expect it to hit or feeling the impact of an explosive shockwave.
Apart from my main Ph.D. topic, I had the freedom to work on several side projects, mostly in Artificial Intelligence, as I find AI applications to be a fascinating research direction. Notably, I developed the AhemPreventor, a system that detects filler words in oral presentations and discretely gives presenters concealed tactile feedback whenever they use a filler word. This system may train oneself to use fewer filler words in presentations subconsciously. Another exciting project revolved around grading the damage level of concrete through ultrasonic signals and Deep Learning in collaboration with a colleague from material sciences.
Leadership skillsI currently lead a team of five Software Engineers for Arbrea Labs AG, previously gave lectures to up to 600 CS students in various topics, and supervised dozens of Bachelor/Master theses during my Ph. D. and for Arbrea Labs AG in collaboration with ETH.
Mobile App DevelopmentMy side hustle during my studies (mostly Android) and current job (iOS). I like polishing the UX of apps through gamification and animations so that they feel fun and engaging to use.
Programming languagesPreference for newer languages: Swift, Kotlin & Python while still knowing how basic C and pointers work. I'm not lost without ChatGPT 😃
Artificial IntelligenceI trained neural networks and deployed several mobile apps with AI.
Data analysis and visualizationI conducted dozens of user studies during my Ph. D. and analyzed data with statistical methods.
Social skillsEmpathy, pragmatism, traveling, and cultural appreciation. Others appreciate my smiling, positive attitude and pragmatic can-do character.
Work and education
July 2022 - present
Arbrea Labs AGZurich, Switzerland
Technical Lead for Arbrea's iOS apps and web services. Starting in July 2022, we began expanding the technical team with five new Software Engineers that I advise in my current role as Technical Lead at Arbrea Labs AG. Furthermore, due to a close collaboration with ETH, we have multiple Bachelor and Master students working on their theses and investigating possible future technical directions for Arbrea with my advice.
June 2021 - June 2022
Senior Software Engineer
Arbrea Labs AGZurich, Switzerland
Senior Software Engineer for iOS. I gradually improved the UX and functionality of several iOS apps which revolve around Augmented Reality, Computer Vision, and Deep Learning. I was also responsible for improving user management on the frontend and backend, database connectivity (Firebase), app analytics, and statistics.
December 2013 - February 2020
My role included the development and continued improvement of several Android and three iOS apps concerning event management.
January 2012 - December 2014
Development and implementation of Android apps and organic algorithms for robots (Khepera III).
Administration and presentation of lectures within the institute.
August 2015 - May 2021
Ph.D. Computer Science
My role included research, interaction design, prototype implementation, and user evaluation on Tactile Feedback in Augmented and Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence for sensor data.
Master Computer Science
Software Development and Architecture, Mobile Development, UI Design, Requirements Engineering.
Bachelor Computer Science
Protoypes and fun stuff
Here's an overview of my research projects. Tap on an image to see more information about the project and a link to the accompanying research paper.
Conference papers and notes
Please refer to my Google Scholar profile
Here's a download link to my dissertation "HapticHead - Augmenting Reality via Tactile Cues" (PDF, 55 MB) - officially published here.
In case you cannot access a particular paper, feel free to drop me an email and I'll send the pdf your way! 😃
If you would like my current CV as PDF, please contact me. I cannot publish it online as it contains private information of my references.