Daylight Investigations



Weinan Huang, Vincent Lai, Xiangyu Gao


Mia Zinni


University of California, Berkeley


United States


Project Description

--CONTEXT-- Starting Fall of 2020, many schools will start reopening carefully following proper measures for social-distancing to prevent the viral spread of Covid-19. In school, students are always encouraged to play and indulge in activities or sports that require many social interactions. This can post a serious problem particularly in kindergartens where the conception of social distancing is not so ingrained in younger kids. The threat of the virus spread is inevitable when people start to venture out of their home more in the future. This phenomenon will be more detrimental in many multi-generational households where young and old live under the same roof. Therefore, the protection of kids’ health from proper social distancing measures is also of great importance to the health of the family and the overall population. --INTERVENTION-- How do we encourage play in a safe manner among young kids? The answer lies in the natural spectrum of colors refracted by light through optical prism. White light that passes through prism creates a spectrum of rainbow colors ranging from red to violet. By appropriating the colors to distances (red equates to near while violet to far), kids will be able to better recognize the distance visually. A hat to be worn by children will be attached with a ring of optical prism. When light passes through the prism, a ring of rainbow colors will be projected on the ground. The color closer to the wearer is red, signaling ‘danger’ if anyone comes close to the zone. Gradience of color educates the children on the range of safety distances between themselves and their surroundings. --ADAPTABILITY-- The prism hat works in day and night with natural sunlight and artificial white light respectively. In the day, the optical prisms can rotate in real-time to the optimal angle based on sun direction and hat position to ensure the ring of rainbow spectrum is projected evenly on the ground. The top of the hat is designed with solar panel to receive daylight energy to power the artificial light ring at night. This system ensures a sustainable self-powered cycle for children’s use throughout the day.