Cranky General Public 1 – Smart Screen 0

January 16, 2019 by Dave Haynes

I’ve always assumed that smart city information stations located away from a city’s major plazas and thoroughfares would get the living shit beat out of them by tipsy or angry members of the general public.

Putting $30,000 (or whatever) units on a sidewalk in Jackson Heights or the Bronx just … seemed … risky.

So it is eye-opening to see a screen at the entrance to the subway station at the many-billion dollar Hudson Yards development – near the Javits Center – that went a few rounds with someone and lost. Bottom has been kicked in, I guess, and then duct-taped. And someone, possibly a city employee thinking he or she was being helpful, pasted on a city map – since partially torn off.

This is an area still in development, but not exactly out of the way.

Not sure I have a point here, other than showing what can happen. Choose your locations wisely, and when you source hardware, assume the worst of the general public, and find displays and enclosures that will, borrowing on the old Timex watch pitch, “Take a licking and keep on ticking.”

Update – Fixed! From an MTA friend:

  1. ..this reminds me of the first few projects inside buses in Latam/Brazil back in 2009-2010. While the southern states are generally considered both more wealthy and civilized, there are several areas considered risky in the north of Brazil and even in the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro. It seems the correlation between civilized and wealthy did not really match out as there were no trouble in the above areas, but several incidents happened in cities like Curitiba, of European immigrant origins, considered safe havens. It seems those who have the hardest time acquiring hi-tech goods were the ones who gave more value to innovation and dynamic content offered to them.

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