Don’t you hate rushing around like a lunatic just to find out that your train is running late? Well, the iStrategyLabs crew recently debuted a solution to that very problem: a slick LED matrix sign that displays data about the next four trains arriving at the nearest metro station.
Dubbed Transit, the sign also lists how many bikes are available at the closest bikeshare station, along with the current local temperature. The data is pulled from various APIs via an Electric Imp platform, while an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) is tasked with processing the information and powering the six LED matrices.
“The focal point for building this unit was displaying information. So, once the LEDs were sourced, everything was built around that,” explained Taylor Guidon, a creative technologist at iStrategyLabs.
Guidon also noted that he first prototyped all the components on a breadboard to ensure the code was being properly executed.
“The biggest issue was learning how to handle the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority API. They have a great API, but their trains do not run 24/7, so there needed to be logic in place to handle blank data being pushed over night,” he told Gizmag.
The final unit is mounted on the wall between the office’s two elevators, making it easy for people to see the information they need before they head out of the office. The sign refreshes every 30 seconds with data from each of the APIs.
Total time of assembly? One day. Total cost? Approximately $250.