Everybody smile

Smile! The "face" atop the lighthouse is watching you.

In the town of Lindau in Germany it’s a good idea to try and smile when you’re in public. Or else a large interactive art installation will reflect your bad mood for all to see.

Not quite, but what the “Fuehlometer” (feel-o-meter) does is that it reflects the mood of the city on a large smiley face sculpture.

Devised by German artists Richard Wilhelmer, Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus, the 8 metre-tall installation consists of steel and neon tubes in the form of a smiley face installed atop a lighthouse. A system with a digital camera installed alongside the lake captures images of the faces of passersby. The images are then classified by a computer programme according to happy, sad or indifferent. This “mood data” is then stored on a server and processed to display the emotions of the townspeople in real time.

The eyes and mouth of the smiley face installation change according to the mood of the town.