Cinimod Studio

This body heat-sensing spotlight is great if you're egotistical, terrible if you have a hangover.

There are some folks who love being in the spotlight. For them, the "Walk the Light" art installation in the London Tube was marvelous: They could stroll up and down in the congratulatory beam while their heads swelled to the size of zeppelins.

People suffering from a Priority 1 Hangover were probably less enthusiastic about getting dazzled by this intelligent, body-tracking light. Same goes for the intensely shy and sneaky felons trying to beat an escape from the Big House.

Like it or hate it, "Walk the Light" was at least worthy of attention. And attention it demanded, given that it had the ability to scoot along a ceiling track to hunt down commuters with a thermal camera, kind of like a less kill-happy sister to the Predator alien. The confounding spotlight recently ended its run inside the tunnel entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum, but there's still good footage documenting its photonic probings of the humanoids (see below).

Lighting/architectural firm Cinimod Studio erected the apparatus for this year's London Design Festival. The creators explain how it works:

This experimental interactive lighting design project creates a band of white light that physically follows the visitor, forming a bright line of light tracking their journey. As one person passes, the white light jumps to the next arrival. Either side of the white band, washes of strong colour are pushed and pulled along the tunnel creating an ambient lighting effect that represents the overall ebb and flow of the day’s visitors. Throughout the day these colours shift in the hue and saturation as they respond to the prevailing direction of movement of the crowds.

If you think that's weird, it's pretty much in line with other Cinimod inventions, like this "mood conductor" for the London Eye and a gizmo to turn people into ice angels. The temptation to add a soundtrack of applause to the roving light must've been near unbearable:

(Photos courtesy of Cinimod Studio. H/t to Co.Design.)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A sign outside a storefront in Buffalo, New York.
    Environment

    Will Buffalo Become a Climate Change Haven?

    The Western New York city possesses a distinct mix of weather, geography, and infrastructure that could make it a potential climate haven. But for whom?

  2. photo: A vacant home in Oakland that is about to demolished for an apartment complex.
    Equity

    Fix California’s Housing Crisis, Activists Say. But Which One?

    As a controversy over vacancy in the Bay Area and Los Angeles reveals, advocates disagree about what kind of housing should be built, and where.

  3. photo: a high-speed train in Switzerland
    Transportation

    The Case for Portland-to-Vancouver High-Speed Rail

    At the Cascadia Rail Summit outside Seattle, a fledgling scheme to bring high-speed rail from Portland to Vancouver found an enthusiastic reception.

  4. A syringe sits on top of a car. Houses are behind it.
    Life

    The Changing Geography of the Opioid Crisis

    A new study shows that the country faces different opioid challenges in urban and rural areas.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×