Imagine a future where lights are not fixed to the ceiling but follow us wherever we are. In this colorful world we enjoy lighting, which is designed to go along with the moment, the activity, our feelings, and our outfit. Halo is a wearable lighting device created to explore this scenario. Different than architectural lighting this personal lighting device aims to illuminate and present its user. Halo changes the wearer's appearance with the ease of a button click, similar to adding a filter to a photograph. It can also changed one's view, brightening up a rainy day, or coloring a gray landscape. Halo can react to activities and adapt based on context. It is a responsive window between the wearer and her surroundings.

A ring of LEDs frames the wearer's head and illuminates her face and shoulders. A mobile app controls Halo over Bluetooth. The hardware is made of light weight aluminum and can be shaped to the user's body. It is comfortable to wear and can be adjusted to different angles, either resting in front of the face or around the head.

Halo is pre-programmed with a range of lighting compositions. Referring to theater and photography, we designed patterns to make the user appear happy, sad, angry, anxious, evil, passionate, etc. Using the mobile app the user can choose from a list of presets. She can also design her own patterns. Instead of defining brightness and color for each LED, using our software she can place virtual light sources into the space around the halo. This way she can easily define a key light or a fill light. The corresponding LED setting is then generated automatically. As you can see in the video even if the user does not move, facial expression seems to change with the transition of the lights.

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Research from: Nan Zhao facebook
Principle Investigator: Joseph Paradiso
Research Group: Responsive Environments Group at the MIT Media Lab
Collaborators: Caroline Claflin, Yoav Reches, Scott Greenwald