An Emoticon That Measures a City's Happiness

Interactive art installation calibrates the mood of Lindau, Germany

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This is emoji writ large. The Fühl-o-meter/Public Face is an interactive art installation that calibrates the mood of the city in which it has been erected (for this installation, Lindau, Germany) with a monumental illuminated Smiley. The work of artists Richard Wilhelmer, Julius von Bismarck, and Benjamin Maus, the urban emoticon accurately communicates its host city’s gefühlszustand according to “mood data” obtained using integrated software which analyzes photos of the faces of passing pedestrians and processes emotions out of them. Mechanical armatures modulate the face’s expression in real-time, making it appear by turns happy, sad, or apathetic with corresponding gestures (smiley, frown, and blank). The Public Face was installed on top of a lighthouse on Lindau Island last year, but we hope that it’s rebooted and sent to other cities around the world.

This article originally appeared at Architizer.com, an Atlantic partner site.

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