'River Glow' is an intriguing concept put forth by designers Soo-in Yang and David Benjamin. A runner-up in Metropolis's Next Generation Design Competition, this project aims to monitor water quality while providing some pretty visuals.
The mechanics work like this: an LED is connected to strands of fiber optics, which turn color in reaction to the water's pH level. The optics are also joined by thins strips of photovoltaics, which assist in keeping the LED recharged.
When the water's pH is OK, a green glow occurs...but when the pollution levels are high, the floating mass turns red - creating a gentle reminder of the normally invisible pollution that is all around us. While I think this project is wonderful, my first thought in seeing the image above was what if a boat ran through all these floating apparatuses? I can just see trails of red dragging from boat propellers everywhere. Could be just as interesting though... (Via Inhabit)