Dr. Fotini Markopoulou is a quantum gravity physicist and design engineer whose mission it is to use the science of interoception and psychophysiology to harness the mind and body connection and give a greater sense of control of how we feel and behave.
As co-founder and CEO of doppel, Markopoulou has seen the company develop its first product, also called doppel, a wearable that helps to reduce stress and anxiety. She and her three co-founders met at The Royal College of Arts during a double Masters degree in design and engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, where they developed and tested a number of products that could impact the way humans feel using technology. They later developed the cutting-edge device, doppel, that changes how we perceive, feel, and behave.
Worn on the inside of your wrist, the device works by creating silent vibrations that feel like a lub-dub of a heartbeat. It works with the body’s natural response to rhythm; faster tempos can increase focus, while slower rhythms have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Research showing doppel’s calming effect has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Scientific Reports. Just as an upbeat song gets you going and a down beat tempo chills you out, doppel can create the same effect but with no noise and no distraction.
Markopoulou and her co-founders are focused on creating technology that works to support and enhance our human nature. Free from screens, monitoring and tracking, or reward mechanisms, they designed the doppel wristband as the antithesis of attention-grabbing, addictive technologies that have negative side effects on our emotional and physiological well-being.
Prior to doppel, Markopoulou was a founding member and faculty at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada. While there, she was instrumental in growing the institute from 3 to 150 people, reaching $300 million in endowments. She has been a visiting professor at MIT and the Santa Fe Institute, as well as Humboldt fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Berlin.