Hfour was approached by a team at CityStudio to create a piece of interactive light art for an activation in the NE False Creek area. CityStudio is an experimentation and innovation hub for the City of Vancouver where staff, students and community members design and launch projects on the ground.
In an early brainstorming session, Hfour came up with an interactive bike lane lighting idea, which received full support from the CityStudio team. The idea was to create a speed sensor which activated when a bike was ridden past. The sensors would activate a series of lights along the path sequentially, following the bicycle, creating a fun and memorable interactive space on a bike lane.
For safety considerations, three main controls were created. The first was that the lights would flash red and not function if the cyclist were going too fast. Second was that the sensors only functioned in one direction, preventing head on collisions. Finally, the lights accelerated to run slightly in front of the cyclist to be less of a head-turning distraction.
The piece was exhibited on November 26th 2016, during a rainstorm. Despite the rain, a few hardy cyclists came through and activated the sensors. The people who did get to experience the interactive light activation were thrilled about it.
The project has met great success so far, and many stakeholders are interested in seeing the Illumilane exhibited again. It also won the Hubub mayor’s prize.