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Tweet-controlled London Eye light show reflects Brits' feelings about the Olympics

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July 22, 2012

Energy of the Nation will see a proportion of the London Eye illuminated to represent the ...

Energy of the Nation will see a proportion of the London Eye illuminated to represent the percentage of 'positive energy' felt towards the 2012 Olympics

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The London skyline has been used for celebratory illuminations quite a bit in 2012. First Tower Bridge was decked out in LEDs for the Queen's Jubilee, then a laser show marked the inauguration of Europe's tallest building, the Shard. Now the London Eye has been transformed into a social media driven light show for the Olympics.

Developed in partnership with a group of graduates from MIT, the light show on the 120 meter (394 ft) tall London landmark will see it illuminated to display visual representations of what Brits think about the London 2012 Olympics, as interpreted through their tweets.

Each night during the games, the light show – which runs from 9 pm to 9:30 pm – will start off by illuminating a proportion of the London Eye to represent the percentage of "positive energy" felt towards the games. This is calculated using an algorithm which linguistically analyzes tweets about the Games from the U.K. and splits them into positive and negative conversations.

The "Energy of the Nation" result will then be followed by displays of the Union Flag and gold, silver or bronze lighting, to highlight the top sporting moments of the day and celebrate the color of the medals won by Team GB.

"The algorithm we developed converts real-time social emotions into color and motion – tweets to light show. We distill 24 hours of action into a 24 minute visual concert that embodies the emotional peaks and troughs of the day," said Justin Manor, Founder of Sosolimited, which developed the technology for the light show.

The Energy of the Nation light show was developed in partnership with a group of graduates...

Speaking at the launch of the London Eye Energy of the Nation, Olympian Daley Thompson added: "Hosting the Games in London is an incredible once in a lifetime event and as a passionate supporter of the Games I want everyone to get behind the athletes and really show their support.

"We need to get behind our favorites to power them onto gold. EDF Energy of the Nation gives you a really easy way to join in, wherever you are and help drive a world first every night on the EDF Energy London Eye – a light show powered by the nation’s tweets."

The video below shows the London Eye Energy of the Nation in action.

Source: EDF Energy

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee.   All articles by Simon Crisp
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