The London Eye is already one of the most popular and distinctive tourist locations in central London. But during the 2012 Olympics, the wheel will take on a never-seen-before look, with the colour of the landmark being determined by the British tweeting public.
Every evening, at 9pm, the wheel will turn a distinctive shade that reflects the overall mood of the country in what will be the world's first light show dictated by social media. Despite long-term fears surrounding transport issues, among other things, the British public now seems to have thrown its support behind the plan.
The plan has been devised by a team of academics in the US, at the Massachusetts institute of Technology, and Mike Thelwall, from the University of the Wolverhampton. Over a period of months, the team has been tracking enthusiasm of Brits for the Games. And, perhaps to their surprise, it has been revealed that levels of support have increased at an impressive rate recently.
Justin Manor, the founder of Sosolimited, explained that the research team is monitoring enthusiasm levels using a complex algorithm. The votes, he explained, are to be systematically converted into a lightshow. "The algorithm we developed converts real-time social emotions into colour and motion and then tweets to the light show. We distil 24 hours of action into a 24 minute visual concert that embodies the emotional peaks and troughs of the day," he commented.
If the public's attitude towards the Games is negative, the Eye will light up purple. However, if the overall attitude towards the event in neutral, the wheel will turn yellow, while it will emit a shade of green if the public is enthusiastic towards it.