The ‘Pop Pop’ Project: A Living Street Sign

Posted on: January 27th, 2014 at 12:30 pm by

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Pop Pop Photo: Co.Exist

Here’s a new concept: a living street sign designed to pass on encouraging and cautionary words of a grandfatherly type. Or a Big Brother.

“Pop Pop” is the brainchild of three grad students in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and it’s being put to the test on one lucky Manhattan street corner – Waverly and Broadway. Its aim is to connect strangers by communicating in a limited time and space. Waiting to cross at a city intersection is as second nature as breathing, yet it’s a spot where one rarely steps outside of their own world to interact with others.

The computer is rigged to pull real-time human interactions with the intersection, like the volume of people, body language, jaywalking, weather, crime data in the area, et al. It then analyzes that data through the crowdsourcing site Mechanical Turk and spits out its two cents.

Pop Pop has six states–“happy,” “attentively upbeat,” “relaxed,” “a bit down,” “sleepy,” and “distressed”–with a deliberate skew towards the happier side of the equation.

It’s unclear whether or not pressing Pop Pop’s button activates the crossing signal (we assume not), which may subsequently activate annoyance. But really, any effort to combat iZombies.

Speaking of pop pop…

[h/t Co.Exist]


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