Could This Be the Smartest Street Sign in the World?

Bill Weir, Andrew Lampard, David Miller, David Kovenetsky
This Could Be Big

Tired of what they deemed static and boring street signs, a team of Brooklyn inventors calling itself Breakfast has created what it hopes is the street sign of the future.

After testing out Points in the video above, we can report that the future is here.

Unlike normal signs that display static information, Points constantly changes the information on its directional arms. So if someone wants to know which cool events are happening in the area, Points will display a few of the best options on its arms and their distance. It will also move its arms to point out the event’s direction.

Same goes for public restrooms, landmarks, restaurants and public transit stops. Points is connected to the Internet and can therefore use RSS feeds and social media sites such as Foursquare and Twitter to help people find what is around them.

“A phone only does so much,” said Breakfast’s co-founder and creative director Andrew Zolty, when explaining why he and his team made Points. “You have to take it out, dig through it. Points is doing that for you.”

Zolty complained that static signs eschew complex directions and information because they would need to be replaced if their content changes in the physical world.

“The thing that digital allows is the ability to change,” he said.

Breakfast spent three years designing Points. It’s 9 feet tall and has directional arms, each of which have 16000 LED lights, that span 6 feet. The arms are controlled by a powerful and efficient microprocessor that updates the displays. To change what the sign displays, simply press a button on the sign’s module, which is located in the middle of its stem.

For now, the company wants to sell Points, which isn’t fully waterproof, to indoor venue operators who run concerts and conferences. For festival concerts with multiple acts, for example, Points could point out which bands are performing and where.

Ultimately, Zolty hopes that a fully weatherized version will be available on street corners near you. A future model may even come with a weather vane so bystanders know what’s blowing their way.

“You will know if there’s a hurricane coming,” Zolty said.