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Ferry Lights

Interactive art with the Internet of Things

This art installation shows real-time positioning for Isle of Wight ferries crossing The Solent. As well as being a beautiful one-off artefact in its own right, it can be controlled via the internet.

The piece was created for the 2018 Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes exhibition by artist Dd Davies in collaboration with Andy Stanford-Clark from IBM Hursley. The exhibition celebrated significant people from the island, including Andy. He is an IBM Master Inventor, a Distinguished Engineer, and our Chief Technology Officer for IBM in the UK and Ireland.

Andy is also a prolific innovator and an inveterate gadget enthusiast who has a thing about Isle of Wight ferries. That goes back to when he devised “twittering ferries” as an early demonstration of Internet of Things (IoT) technology and the potential of social media. (Unsurprisingly, @andysc was an early adopter of Twitter.)

The Ferry Lights installation uses IBM Cloud, Watson IoT Platform, and Node-RED. And yes, of course, you can control it via Twitter. For example, if you tweet #cheerlights red the piece (and many other lights across the world) will change to red, in real time.

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IBM UK Lab Campus, Hursley,
Winchester, Hampshire,
SO21 2JN
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