Tag Archives: iStrategyLabs

LED matrix flashes real-time commuter info

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.

Want to check out some of iStrategyLabs’ other innovative creations? We’d recommend the Atmel based selfie-taking mirror or its Uber-calling shoe clip — both of which can be found here.


Snapping selfies with a magical mirror

iStrategyLabs — a digital agency helmed by Peter Corbett and DJ Saul — recently debuted a new project dubbed “S.E.L.F.I.E.” (aka The Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine).

S.E.L.F.I.E allows users to take a hands-free selfie by simply looking at themselves and smiling. Once the hacked device recognizes those pearly whites, hidden LEDs indicate a countdown, then simulate a ‘flash’ as your photo is taken.

The photo is then automatically posted to Twitter (with a corresponding watermark/logo). The best part? You don’t even have to post it to Twitter yourself. #Awesome!

So, how does S.E.L.F.I.E. work? Well, an Apple MacMini behind the two-way mirror powers facial recognition software and related photo-snapping tech.

Meanwhile, an [Atmel based] Arduino controls the LED lights on the front of the display, offering users a visual countdown for the photo.

Interested in learning more? You can check out S.E.L.F.I.E.’s official page here.