Now Playing

San Leandro Pedestrians Walk in the Light

No, you're not tripping. It's a new city program.


Read more Smart Cities coverage here.

Wanting to enliven its downtown and get more data about foot traffic patterns, San Leandro asked UC Berkeley new media professor Greg Niemeyer to come up with an interactive pedestrian-counting scheme. Niemeyer and his students invented an ingeniously simple device that projects colored lights onto the sidewalk whenever someone walks by.

More elaborate lighting schemes are in the works, including one that changes color faster when the street is busier, one that follows pedestrians down the street, and even one that allows passing walkers to “throw” light back and forth to each other like a giant game of Pong. The more fun and interactive the lights are, the more people will be lured onto the streets. That’s the bright idea, anyway.



Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco

Have feedback? Email us at
Email Adam L. Brinklow at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Adam L. Brinklow on Twitter @AdamLBrinklow