Bridging Distances With Lighting Experiences [Future of Light]

Synced lighting experiences bring to life the shared connections between people.

Could light be used to bridge two remote experiences? If so, what kind of stories could it tell? In a trend we are calling Remotely Connected, PSFK Labs explores how synced lighting experiences are helping bring to life the unique connections between people. With their ability to convey shared experiences, awareness or proximity, these lighting displays are being creatively deployed to evoke an emotional response between people.

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One playful example of this is the Budweiser Red Light, a Wi-Fi enabled light siren that fans install in their homes to be alerted every time their favorite hockey team scores a goal. Created by Budweiser Canada, the concept is modeled after the net lights that are used to signal goals at live hockey games, and can be ordered online and then installed in any location with Wi-Fi access. Fans simply use an accompanying iPhone or Android app to program the light with the team they support . During the game, the light syncs with the live scoring provided through the internet connection and flashes its light and sounds its horn, bringing the live experience of a game into any room.

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While the social connection is important, not all of these experiences need be recreating the excitement of a raucous arena. To that end, the Good Night Lamp concept features a series of internet-connected fixtures that subtly connect owners to family and friends around the world with the flick of a switch, acting like an ambient social network. Whenever a user turns the main ‘Big’ lamp on or off, it triggers the same response on any of the linked ‘Little’ lamps, regardless of their location. The idea is for a person to keep the big lamp for themselves and send the smaller ones to loved ones they want to stay connected with, automatically signaling to them when they are home, going to bed, or leaving the office. This system also acts as a handy tool for people living in separate time zones, helping plan appropriate times to call or Skype.

In our conversation with Usman Haque, Director of Haque Design + Research, he suggests:

This could be useful for parents with children away at college wanting to keep a subtle connection, or with team members in different countries who need to indicate to each other when they are ready for a video conference, or for people with aging parents wanting to know that their folks have gone to bed or woken up without needing to phone to find out.

good night lamp-lighting

Remotely Connected lighting technologies like the Good Night Lamp and the Budweiser Goal Light  fall under the larger theme we are calling Luminous Relationships, which explores how lighting designs can trigger positive emotional responses, changing a person’s relationship with their friends and family, their surroundings and even the products that occupy their lives.

The Future of Light series explores light’s potential to improve lives, build communities, and connect people in new and meaningful ways. Brought to you in partnership with Philips Lighting, a full report is available as an iOS and Android app or as a downloadable PDF.

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