Turn on Your Heart Light
Cinimod Studio has created a “Mood Conductor” for EDF Energy, which enables participants to use gestural control and their heartrate to display their mood through the lighting on the EDF Energy London Eye.
The Mood Conductor forms part of the Energy of Nation activation taking place at the EDF Energy London Eye throughout the Olympic Games from the 19th July – 12th August, presenting a dazzling social media–powered light show each night from 9pm on the EDF Energy London Eye.
The Mood Conductor is an interactive installation that follows the show from 9.30pm each night enabling a single user at a time to be empowered to express their mood on an unforgettable architectural scale. It is the first time a large public landmark within London has been controlled directly by members of the public.
There are two ways in which the “conductor” is able to interact with the system: first by using their arms and hands, and secondly, at more subconscious level, though their heart rate. The gesture recognition system allows for free and unconstrained movements to be interpreted into beautiful lighting movements that amplify the user’s mood.
The heart rate system uses a sensor clipped to the performer’s ear to detect their pulse. The symbolism of the heart as an epicenter of felt emotion is not merely an artifact of mythology and early philosophical thinking. Whilst there is no evidence of hearts actually skipping a beat at the sight of a loved one, we can be certain that the beating of our hearts is inextricably linked to the way we feel. By measuring your heartbeat as you stand on the Mood Conductor podium, the system gets an even better idea of your mood, and consequently the lighting show which you create on the EDF Energy London Eye becomes even more responsive to you, and the way you feel.
The lighting patterns that are visible across the London Eye are a direct result of the movements and behaviors of the conductor. The patterns vary in color, speed, brightness and scale – at times the London Eye can be seen to sparkle with obvious joy and celebration, other times it recoils into a subdued and disappointed state. In these variations the mood of the individual is clearly visualized for the outside city to see and share.
The system was designed and produced by London creative Cinimod Studio specifically for the Energy of the Nation experiential activation.
The project has developed into a highly complex, yet incredibly intuitive groundbreaking interactive installation that challenges preconceptions of how users of a city live and influence the space around them. By inviting the public to express a mood on such a public scale, there is a simultaneous sense of liberation and social sharing.
As is common to many Cinimod projects, the challenge was to develop a bespoke and reliable solution that would faithfully deliver an ambitious scheme for an interactive lighting control system. Utilizing a transfer of technologies from related industries, Cinimod created a cutting-edge hardware and software system to bring this new interactive system to this important London landmark.
Gesture Tracking: A highly accurate 3D camera is used to track the movements of the person interacting on the podium. This information is captured and analyzed in real-time by the bespoke Cinimod software system and translated into lighting movements across the London Eye.
Pulse: An added, unexpected level of interaction comes in the form of the ear lobe pulse sensor that can be optionally clipped to the performer’s ear. By linking the heartbeat of the user in real-time to the Cinimod control system, the pulse is interpreted and analyzed to contribute to the lighting patterns being displayed on the London Eye.
Gyroscopic Lighting Control: The existing Philips LED light fittings on the London Eye are retained as the primary lighting. Previously there has never been any demand to show accurately mapped lighting across the London Eye and hence there was no system available to ensure that the lighting was always the right-side up on the rotating structure. Cinimod Studio, and specialist electronics engineer White Wing Logic, designed and implemented a new gyroscopic lighting controller that takes the lighting commands and automatically rotates them to suit the current position of the structure. This new addition allows any lighting content to be displayed on the London Eye with automatic compensation for the Eye’s rotation.
- Mood Conductor Concept & Production: Cinimod Studio
- Gyroscopic Lighting Converter: Cinimod Studio & White Wing Logic
- DMX Distribution: Pharos Architectural Controls
- Project Concept and Management: Ignite London
- Cinimod Studio team:
- Dominic Harris, concept, Cinimod Studio
- Tom Czapka, project manager, Cinimod Studio
- Joseph Mounsey, programmer, Cinimod Studio
- Evan Morgan, programmer, Cinimod Studio & PhD Student at Queen Mary University