menu

Using Light To Map Real-Time Safety Cues Onto Urban Environments [Future of Light]

Using Light To Map Real-Time Safety Cues Onto Urban Environments [Future of Light]
Design

Leveraging advances in projection technology to provide directional cues and heads-up warnings to people when they need them.

PSFK Labs
  • 30 september 2013

What if lighting in our urban landscapes began reacting to us in a more dynamic way? Could it begin mapping the real-time safety information we need to help us get home safely?

In a trend we are calling Guiding Light, PSFK Labs explores how lighting innovations are leveraging advances in projection technology to map directional cues and heads-up warnings onto the built environment in real-time, enhancing wayfinding and safety. Oftentimes cued to react to different circumstances or deployed on-demand, these technologies deliver a visual guide and assurance where and when people need it. The Rockwell Group‘s Senior Technologist Brett Refner points to the wider potential, telling us, “If you think about it from this really far back level, how do you talk about the ebb and flow of city life, and how do you talk about where people are, and where people are going, and where people should go?”

softstop-water-stop-sign-tunnel

One example of this trend takes us to the Sydney Harbour tunnel in Australia, where a lighting solution has been installed to promote traffic safety. Softstop uses light and water to project stop signs onto sheets of water that appear to float in the air. Developed by entertainment communications company Laservision, the barrier system produces a pseudo-holographic “STOP” message that is impossible for drivers to miss.

Unlike conventional warning signs that appear in the peripheral vision of drivers, Softstop appears in their direct view through the use of light overlaid onto mist. The concept solves the persistent problem of drivers ignoring signals to stop by creating the illusion of a solid surface that can be deployed at a moment’s notice. Thinking of a lateral application employing these types of on-demand lighting technologies, Teal Brogden, Senior Principal at Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design notes that, “If you’re trying to manage people and flow during at a large venue like a stadium, you need to be able to reroute people and their flow depending on what the situation is. Lighting can do that effectively and safely.”

4-safety_light2

Another example of this trend is the Safety Light, a concept for a road lighting system that can be activated by water during severe storms when streets may be under water and lane markings are obscured. Rainwater triggers an H2O battery, which in turn powers LEDs embedded in the roadway, sending beams of light skyward to guide drivers safely through flooded areas. The lights are intended to help drivers who find themselves in dangerous weather conditions navigate out of harm’s way.

Softstop and the Safety Light point to the ways that temporary signage and warnings could be used on roads and other areas without the need for permanent installations. We may see projection mapping implemented during emergency situation to help people find their way out of an apartment building, stadium or other structure, ensuring orderly evacuations.

These examples also fall into a larger theme we are calling Enlightened Communication, where designers are exploring the use of light as a substitute for physical boundaries, helping to change the way people perceive their surroundings. These solutions work to demarcate new areas on demand, creating flexible environments which can accommodate different use cases and be redefined according to needs.

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.

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology Yesterday

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Yesterday

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Layne Braunstein

experimental motion design and post-digital storytelling

Food Yesterday

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed november 22, 2016

Digital Strategist: Why “Big Sensing” Is Key To Retail’s Future

Bud Caddell, Founder of NOBL, shares why the most capable and useful asset in any retail environment is the workforce

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Yesterday

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Yesterday

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Yesterday

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Yesterday

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Yesterday

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.