Light Filters is a speculative design prototype for an augmented reality (AR) app that would allow you to see what your room looks like in any type of light. The app would identify ambient light sources at home from skylights, windows or doors and then correlate them to data-points on your location – the time of day, point of direction, and real-time weather patterns – to understand the natural 'light rig' of your environment.
'Light Filters displays what a room could look like under different lighting conditions. This could be useful for determining optimal furniture placement so you don't get blinded by sun rays in your favorite chair four months out of the year, for instance.'
Using your phone as a lens, the app would invite you to control several parameters (sliding between the past and the future, for example) and see the real-world shadows and lighting within your environment adapt in real-time. This means a user would be able to pivot from a dark winter’s afternoon to a golden midsummer sunset, or travel to different 'light locations' around the world. A misty mountain top in India, a summer morning in Iceland, or golden hour in Sao Paulo.
'The experiment itself doesn’t actually add anything new to the environment at all, it just allows us to expand on – and better understand – what already exists. At its foundation, it’s really just expanding on information.'
Light Filters still presents a challenge to implement in a functional demo. Even state-of-the-art artificial intelligence image (AI) generation technology is slightly immature when it comes to being able to predict, for example, how shadows move across a room throughout the day. One way of getting around this could be to use LiDAR to reconstruct the setting in three-dimensional (3D) and then support the predictions by using the 3D model to simulate the changing conditions.
ManvsMachine are keen that people can draw value from this experiment in whatever way is most important to them. Some may use it while apartment hunting, to better understand how time of day and seasons would affect a space. Other people would use it on a more emotional level – a warm, much-needed reminder of what their world feels like under the summer sun, on a wintry January afternoon.