Ad agency RPA created The Listening Cloud, a data-driven light sculpture that visualizes social media buzz in real-time using colorful LED lights. Installed in the company’s lobby, it glows different colors depending on where the mention came from (blue for Twitter, purple for Instagram, red for Facebook) and presents a playful way to visualize data.
The cloud continuously monitors the social media buzz around client brands. When there are tweets, hashtags, likes or comments about them, it storms with multi-colored lightning that corresponds to the different channels.
Custom software pulls in real-time data from the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’s public APIs, then sends commands through a wireless bridge to LEDs inside the cloud. A web interface on a nearby monitor lets viewers choose what they’d like the cloud to “listen to” and also displays a raw, real-time feed of the data it’s processing.
The cloud could be programmed to visualize any kind of data stream and the team plans to explore other possibilities and create further iterations. They also want to see what other people can come up with, so they’ve shared the ingredients and instructions for building a cloud. You can check out the Listening Cloud and a how-to video below: