- Philips Lighting, in collaboration with software specialist SAP, unveiled today a social impact analytics app to help cities "collect feedback on the social and media impact of public lighting projects," according to a company press statement.
- The app will merge Philips' image analytics, which identifies photos of landmark lighting installations on popular social media applications, with SAP's Cloud Platform, which collects data on what is being posted on social and news sites about various architecture.
- Data from the app is aimed to help cities identify popular lighting displays and strategies in order to better meet the needs of community members.
City dwellers are known for snapping photos of the city at all angles, all times of day, and sharing those photos on social media platforms. A simple Instagram search of the words "Empire State Building" — an architecture landmark that Philips serves — results in 1,844,572 posts across the platform, largely due to the various picturesque colors worn by the building throughout the year. According to Philips, cities are "using the installations to beautify or brand [themselves] to boost tourism, promote health and wellbeing, and revitalize areas in decline" — and digging into Instagram and other social media platforms to see the effects of these installations is a clever move.
The catch, though, is city dwellers are less likely to post photos or tweets about less famous lighting systems or landmarks, which may skew the data or spark insights that are not quite balanced. Though the app just launched, and may take some time to affect how cities make decisions around lighting, it will be important for cities to keep this detail in mind while analyzing the information.
Through this new initiative, Philips has an underlying goal for cities to encourage more interaction between citizens and their surrounding environments. Assuming this initiative is beneficial, Philips may be encouraged to share the model with other entities that can continue to promote this type of collaborative interaction.