Danny Boyle was in charge of directing this year’s Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Following Beijing’s spectacular performance with the Opening Ceremonies at the previous Olympic Games, Boyle certainly had his work cut out for him. Although all the skits and events that occurred within the Opening Ceremonies wowed audiences around the globe, nothing was more unanticipated than the interaction from the audience within the stadium. Every seat in the arena was equipped with a “small paddle-shaped pixel tablet” to form one giant video screen. This was the first time smaller pixel tablets were used to create that large of a display screen. According to Will Case, Creative Director at Crystal CG, the company that built the system, stated: “The audience literally became part of the action. No longer limited by large flat screens, we were presented with the challenge of creating animations to bring the stage and the spectators together. We delivered. The live audience and those watching at home were drawn into the action. We are witnessing the death of the traditional video screen – this will transform the way event content is presented in the future, becoming a more immersive experience.” The system was installed for permanent use, but simple placement options are also available.
LEDs were also embedded into many of the actors and dancers costumes. For example, the dove bicycles were outfitted with tiny LED lights. The golden “river of steel” was lit by amber LED lights, in order to create the illusion of liquid. Decorating with LED lights even went beyond the Opening Ceremonies to the famous London Eye Ferris Wheel. LED lights lit up the Eye with tweets about the Olympics. According to webpronews.com, EDF Energy, a major sponsor of this year’s Olympics, and Sosolimited teamed up to create this light show. Sosolimited designed software that locates all the tweets on Twitter about the Olympics from individuals in the UK. and determines the mood of the tweets. Different moods emit different colored lights. Justin Manor, and employee of Sosolimited, comments on the project: “We have written software that captures all the tweets coming out of the UK mentioning the Olympics, and are running sentiment analysis algorithms on them to determine their emotional content. The rising and falling mood of the nation with respect to the Games is charted throughout the day on a large LED wall next to the Eye, and every night at 9:00 PM, that data is played back out across full color architectural lighting fixtures around the Eye with large ground based search beams.”