Joseph A. Paradiso, Akane Sano and Nan Zhao
Light enables our visual perception. It is the most common medium for displaying digital information. Light regulates our circadian rhythms, affects productivity and social interaction, and makes people feel safe. Yet despite the significance of light in structuring human relationships with their environments on all these levels, we communicate very little with our artificial lighting systems. Occupancy, ambient illuminance, intensity, and color preferences are the only input signals currently provided to these systems. With advanced sensing technology, we can establish better communication with our devices. This effort is often described as context-awareness. Context has typically been divided into properties such as location, identity, affective state, and activity. Using wearable and infrastructure sensors, we are interested in detecting these properties and using them to control lighting. The Mindful Photons Project aims to close the loop and allow our light sources to "see" us.