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! IN PROGRESS ! Public Voting System


Public Voting System is a project somewhat related to Steve Lambert’s “Public Forum” in that it is a voting mechanism which is deployed in a public location for people to actively participate. The device is comprised of 3 parts. The first is a “score board” which displays two things that are being compared. It might say “Cats are better than Dogs”. Two led matrices display the number of people who agree and disagree with the above statement. The second part are two giant buttons, one for agree, the other for disagree, which produce haptic and visual feedback for users and are meant to entice people to participate. The final portion is a website where people can submit what two things they’d like to be compared and assessed by the public. The comparison is placed in a queue and after 99 votes have been cast, sent to update the lcd “score board” with the new comparison. The previous poll is archived for later viewing.

The purpose of this project is primarily to experiment with web connected devices. However, It also explores a more entertaining and engaging alternative to the voting forms we see all to often populating our email and Facebook accounts. This localized approach can be used to collect data and information about smaller populations.

The original intention for this project was to create a deployable that spanned the entire width of a side walk so that it capture 100% of votes primarily as a means to address America’s low voter turnout during elections. Two or more voting options would be projected onto the sidewalk and large button pads would be positioned for each respective option. This alternate deployable would purposely obstruct a pedestrians path, forcing them to make a decision: avoid the voting structure and take a detour, or continue and cast a vote by stepping on a pad.

This alternative was not materialized because I was unfamiliar with the technology and thus wouldn’t fit within the scope of the project. Now that I am more confident, I may develop this for a later project.

Technologies used: Arduino Mega, LCD, LED Matrix, laser cutter, Xbee V1.0, Standard Firmata, Javascript, Johnny-Five, Socket.io.

More information can be found on my blog post by clicking the image below:


I am a Design and Technology Student at Parsons the New School for Design in NYC. I chew bubble gum and kick ass.

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