Interactive Neon Signs

Highlighting what's important from the world's headlines

The intent of the installation is to add a visual and interactive tech element to Singularity’s large event space which regularly hosts conferences of over 150 people from all over the world. In addition to its visual contribution to the aesthetic of the space, I hope that it will be a fun way for anyone to walk up and learn about and interact with machine learning and current events via this set of IoT signs.

The 12 icons represent SU’s “Global Grand Challenges,” or areas that the company believes are important areas for innovation in the near future (things like “the environment,” “water,” and “energy”). Using these themes, I’ve designed a display that, using IoT relay triggers and a custom web-interface, scans a set of news sources from around the world for keywords relating to these 12 topics and will light up the signs for the topics that trigger the most headlines. The scan runs every few minutes on its own or when new keywords are added.

I worked closely with a developer to create the web interface which allows for anyone to turn the signs on and off manually or add new keywords to any of the topic areas quickly and easily. In the next update, I hope to integrate a basic neural network to start to place new headlines into the 12 categories on its own based on the training set of user identified keywords.

This installation is currently on display at Singularity University’s event space in Mountain View, CA and the interface is live at: https://su-neon.herokuapp.com/signs