Nederland, Eindhoven, november 2018. Lichtkunstfestival GLOW Eindhoven is een looproute door het centrum van de stad langs objecten van internationale lichtkunstenaars en trekt ruim een half miljoen bezoekers. Hier met: Glowie wants to talk to you door Greenhouse group. foto: © GLOW Eindhoven / Bart van Overbeeke
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Aiming at younger visitors, Glow director Ronald Ramakers was looking for a way to add more interactivity and innovation to his light festival. A team of creative and innovative employees of the Greenhouse Group helped him out. The result is a speech-driven chatbot named Glowie, which engages with Glow visitors by starting a dialogue. At the Heuvel shopping centre, visitors can admire the work and talk to her.

Because the artwork is speech-driven, the title ‘Glowie Wants To Talk To You’ is not entirely surprising. The project is more than just a chatbot listening to you and speaking to you. Glowie has its own character; while other chatbots are purely focused on giving information, Glowie enters into a conversation with the visitors about a personal matter: their own emotion.

“Glowie is a speechbot developed and conceived by the ladies and gentlemen of the Greenhouse Group. In the preliminary phase they asked me to think along about visualizing the emotions of users”, says Robin van der Heijden, an employee of Sahara Benelux who helped to realize the project. “Glowie is a round scaffold, in which one person can step inside at a time. When you have reached the middle spot, you can start a conversation with her.” You will be asked all kinds of questions that all provoke a certain emotion. The visitor’s emotion is then shown to the outside world through displays and light effects.

In collaboration with a number of Fontys students, Innovation Platform Labs, part of Greenhouse, is responsible for the development of Glowie’s software and hardware. For the audiovisual part, Greenhouse worked together with hardware importer Sahara Benelux.

Glowie’s mission is to help the visitor get as pleased as possible on his way to the next lighting project. However, the developers have a completely different mission; the makers of Glowie are also very ambitious on an international level. Since Glowie speaks English, she can easily be deployed abroad. Soon the robot will travel around the world and visit several other light festivals.

Photo: Bart van Overbeeke