In the age of mobile devices and Google Maps, will street signs soon become obsolete? Not if they turn into Points. Points is an electronic directional sign that does more than just point to nearby landmarks. It can act as a weatherman, a news ticker, a Twitter feed and more.
Points was invented by Breakfast NY, the same organization behind the Instagram-printing machine. As you’ll see in the video below, Points has a control panel near its base. The panel has buttons that people can use to select what type of information they want to see. Points updates not just its directional arms but also the choices on the control panel. For instance, the choices in the morning will differ from the selections at night to reflect our habits.
Right now Breakfast NY is offering Points units for rent at events. They’re still working on a weatherproof version that can be sold for permanent installation. Head to Breakfast NY’s website to inquire about renting the sign, learn more about what makes Points work and even interact with a Points sign using Twitter.
I think Points is a very cool product, but I think an augmented reality sign would be more useful and practical. You can’t really expect people to form a line behind Points and wait for others to finish faffing about and gawking at the robot sign so they can use the control panel and find out where the nearest restroom is. Or. They might be prompted to do something drastic like, I don’t know, ask another human being for directions. Now imagine if you had a Points app on your Google contact lens or Apple holo-watch. You
say Okay Glass Siri simply think of your question, and your device overlays the answer over the sign or over any surface for that matter.
But all this shallow brainstorming and ranting on my part only emphasizes what impresses me most about what Breakfast NY has done: Points looks like it was stolen from a street in the Tron system, but it’s here and it works.