This is just too cool. At Rail-volution, Chris Smith from Portland Transport debuted what he is calling the world's first "Transit Appliance". It can deliver real-time transit arrival estimates to a display in your home, coffee shop, library or, well, anywhere frequented by transit users.
Drawing upon a number of a variety of Open Source software components (including Linux), the Open Hardware "Chumby" platform, and public open data from Portland's TriMet & NextBus, a successfully hacked device can bring a little ease of mind to customers of restaurants or delis. Just another way to lead a more efficient life!
Chris says that the appliance can be delivered for less than $200 anywhere a WiFi connection is available. For more info contact him directly at chris [at] portlandtransport [dot] com.
<p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Chris Smith:</i> [00:00]
So this is something that at Portland Transport we’re sort of preliminary
calling the Transit Appliance and it’s a combination of open data,
open source software and open hardware. This is a commercial product
called the Insignia Infocast, you can buy one for $170 at the Best Buy.
But it’s built on an open hardware platform called the Chumby that’s
been circulating around the open source world for a couple of years,
so it’s hackable, and in fact it runs the Window operating system
so it’s an open source operating system. And we have hacked
it to load up a web browser and display transit arrival times using
open data from Tri-Met, our local transit agency. So we have open
hardware, open source software and open data conspiring here to put
real time transit arrival information anywhere you can get a WiFi connection
for under two hundred bucks. We’re here at Rail-Volution and
there are a number of folks here who will be travelling home today or
tomorrow, want to get to the airport. We’re blessed here in
Portland, we have a light rail connection directly from Downtown to
the airport. So this is showing the trains arriving are Pioneer
Square Station, which is the nearest place you can pick up the red line
to the airport. </font> <br></p>
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