London Eye Mood Conductor for EDF Energy

‘Mood Conductor’ enabled participants to use gestural control and heart rate to display their mood through the lighting on the London Eye.

London, UK – 2012


Client: Ignite London
Location: London, UK
Concept & Production: Cinimod Studio
Gyroscopic Lighting Converter: Cinimod Studio
DMX Distribution: Pharos Architectural Controls
Project Concept & Management: Ignite London
Audio Content: North v South / Cinimod Studio
Lighting Suppliers: Architainment, Philips, Mike Stoane Lighting, Pharos


Commissioned by Ignite London, the Mood Conductor formed part of the Energy of the Nation Activation which took place at the EDF Energy London Eye throughout the 2012 Olympic Games in London. An interactive installation which enabled a single user at a time to ‘express’ their mood on an unforgettable architectural scale, the Mood Conductor signaled the first time a large public landmark within London had been controlled by members of the public.

Performers were able to interact with the system in two ways: first by using their arms and hands, and secondly, at a more subconscious level, through their heart rate. The gesture recognition system allowed for free and unconstrained movements to be interpreted into beautiful lighting movements that amplified the users’ individual moods.

The heart rate system used a sensor clipped to the performer’s ear to detect his/her pulse. The symbolism of the heart as the epicenter of experienced emotion is not merely just an artefact of mythology and early philosophical thinking; whilst there is no evidence of hearts skipping beats as a result of overwhelming emotion, it cannot be denied that the beating of one’s heart is inextricably linked to his/her feelings. Through measuring heartbeats as participants stood on the Mood Conductor podium, the system was able to ascertain the experienced emotions, which were subsequently reflected in the light show displayed on the EDF Energy London Eye.

The lighting patterns which were visible across the structure were a direct result of the movement and behaviours of the user. Varying ins colour, speed, brightness and scale, the patterns caused the London Eye to sparkle with obvious joy and celebration, whilst at other times, it recoiled into a subdued and disappointed state. 

The project developed into a highly complex, yet incredibly intuitive, ground-breaking interactive installation that challenged preconceptions of how inhabitants of a city live and influence the space around them. By inviting citizens to express their moods on such a public scale, a simultaneous sense of liberation and social sharing was generated.

As common to many Cinimod Studio projects, the challenge was to develop a bespoke and reliable solution that would faithfully deliver an ambitious scheme for an interactive lighting control system. Utilising a transfer of technologies from related industries, Cinimod created cutting-edge hardware and software which brought this new interactive system to the iconic landmark.

Gesture Tracking:
A highly accurate 3D camera was used to track the movements of the individual interacting on the podium. This information was capture and analysed in real-time by the bespoke Cinimod software system, subsequently translated into lighting movements across the London Eye.

And added unexpected level of interaction came from the form of the ear lobe pulse sensor which was optionally clipped to performers’ ears. By linking the heart rate of the user in real-time to the Cinimod control system, the pulse was interpreted and analysed to contribute to the lighting patterns displayed.

Gyroscopic Lighting Control:
The existing Philips LED light fittings on the London Eye were retained as the primary lighting. Previously, there had 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 correctly displayed on the rotating structure. Cinimod and their specialist electronics engineering partners, White Wing Logic, designed and implemented a new gyroscopic lighting controller which took the lighting commands and automatically rotated them to suit the current position of the structure. This new addition allowed lighting content to be displayed on the London Eye with automatic compensation for the Eye’s rotation.



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