Waterfront tweaks: NZX signs
While we're looking at Taranaki St Wharf, I've been intending for a while to write about the scrolling signs on the NZX building. I have no problem with their visual presence, and I don't have some sort of ideological grudge about watching capitalism in action. However, when the council paid for the signs, one of the public benefits was supposed to be that they were for (as the council website still says) "displaying stock prices and showcasing upcoming city events". So far, apart from a brief Christmas wish, I have seen none of the latter. We haven't forgotten, and we want some public benefit beyond a bribe to the NZX to stay in the city!
Here are just a few examples of how they could show things that are more interesting (to the non-investor) than stock prices.
Events. This is the bare minimum that they should try to display. These could be a few hand-picked public events (Fringe Festival, Dragon Boats etc) or grabbed from an RSS feed provided by the likes of Texture, NZlive.com or any of the "what's on" sites that Mike has kindly listed.
Weather and environment. Okay, so every radio station has its clock and temperature display, but we could get more creative. How about grabbing live wind, temperature, rain and pollution readings from Greater Wellington's stations around the region? With an animated, multi-coloured graphic display, it's not limited to text and numbers: maybe we should be experimenting with graphs and animated icons.
Social accounting. As a counterpoint to all the financial data, how about showing something of Wellington or NZ's triple bottom line? Figures on unemployment, income disparity and CO2 emissions, while not available in real-time, could be based upon projections.
Art. Based upon the crazy images that flash up when it's in testing mode, this display has better graphic capabilities than your average LED display. How about interactive abstract art, based upon sensors detecting motion of people in the plaza? Or maybe now that Martin Thomson has moved into digital media, perhaps we could commission him to create some work specifically for this pixellated medium.