London Eye Driven By Olympics Tweeting!
The world’s first social media driven augmented reality? That’s the claim by sponsors, EDF Energy last Friday, when former Olympics double gold medal winner, Daley Thompson, switched on a real-time display at the London Eye, which will display the changing response to Olympic events as sent by Twitter users, converted to coloured light.
While some might scoff at what appears to be no more than an Olympics themed gimmick involving corporate sponsorship and a well known London tourist attraction, in reality, the integral part search and social networking increasingly plays in daily experience is given significant prominence.
A software programme was developed using an algorithm, which will ‘intuitively’ analyse ‘social sentiment’ by tracking specific words, such as ‘great’, ‘amazing’ or ‘bad’ and ’disappointing’ to divide positive from negative tweeted messages and create a changing lightshow display.
Throughout the entire Olympics and Paralympics, the fluctuating social reaction to the key moments of the day can be tweeted using the hashtag “#Energy2012”, which will be tracked on a large LED wall located next to the Eye. The playback begins from 9.00pm every night, illuminating different areas of the London Eye wheel and by a colour corresponding to the overall tweeted response to the different events of that day.
The harnessing of digital technology to create interactive feedback display is well established, of course. And there are few television programmes broadcast these days that do not display a Twitter hashtag for viewers to tweet their comments to the show, and be instantly displayed on screen or read out, as well as being on the Twitter site itself.
Two screen behaviour using TV with tablet or smartphone reflects the expectation of users to be able to engage and be part of a two way conversation, media broadcasting and content sharing. Consumers demand to interact with the online marketing and comment review process in product research and purchasing timelines.
Keeping in touch with prevailing audience opinion, response and behaviour is now seen as the real value by which to measure social ROI. The London Eye, driven by Olympics tweeting, is a handy symbol to highlight the turning of the social wheel by meaningful, crowd sourced response.