What to show on ambient office displays?
January 19, 2012 12:04 AM   Subscribe

There are several large displays scattered around my office, each mounted near the ceiling with an attached computer. The idea is for people to put up cool stuff that will be visible to the whole office. Any suggestions?

The Uniqlo Calendar was popular, and I've also tried Newsmap with a browser extension to auto-refresh. Other ideas include WeatherSpark, Twitter feeds, food truck maps, interesting clocks, photostreams, screensavers..

I gravitate toward data visualizations, but anything visually interesting would be fine. We're a bunch of youngish tech-oriented people who also enjoy cat videos as much as the next.. bunch of youngish tech-oriented people. Shouldn't be distracting or controversial, since it is a workplace, and text should be legible from a distance.

Would be nice if it's low maintenance - not always crashing or requiring user input. We're willing to get our hands dirty to set something up, though, and also capable of creating software if there's a cool idea but no existing implementation.
posted by mshrike to Technology (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
This weather display is nice, but not very dynamic. If you're into webcams, there's a nice one in Amsterdam.
posted by neushoorn at 12:34 AM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The 7 hour train ride from Bergen to Oslo is pretty great.
posted by aubilenon at 12:53 AM on January 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

how about SETI@home? You could help try to find E.T.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:20 AM on January 19, 2012

A sunlight map (Xplanet / output images updated every half hour)?
posted by UrbietOrbi at 2:39 AM on January 19, 2012

How about an artificial life program of some sort? You might want to pick one graphically richer than Conway's, for all that it's a classic and beautiful in its own way. There are several that algorithmically breed "animals" that you can watch crawling/swimming/flying around in their 3D environments as they forage/fight/mate and breed their crazy mutant descendents. If you want to get fancy, sample some data from your office environment (server load, hash of your latest tweets, # of leftover pastries after the meeting, etc) and use that as an input to periodically re-seed the environment.
posted by metaBugs at 2:49 AM on January 19, 2012

Maybe The People Clock?
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:06 AM on January 19, 2012

Industrious Clock
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:19 AM on January 19, 2012

The ElectricSheep screensaver! As I write this, their website is still down protesting SOPA, but here's the rundown.
posted by jquinby at 6:22 AM on January 19, 2012

Security Wizardry
posted by empath at 6:36 AM on January 19, 2012

Blue Ball machine?
posted by defcom1 at 7:57 AM on January 19, 2012

The 7 hour train ride from Bergen to Oslo is pretty great.

Alternatively, another 'minutt for minutt' NRK adventure, the streamable (134 hours, 42 minutes, 45 seconds) Bergen to Kirkenes voyage on Hurtigruten.

Click the route on the map in the 'streamable link' to jump to that part of the voyage.
posted by knapah at 8:03 AM on January 19, 2012

Zoo cams?
posted by desertface at 10:17 AM on January 19, 2012

Best answer: I've often wanted to something like the cool things in the Ultimate Wallboard contest from a while back.

Though my favorite is the one from Panic, makers of awesome Mac software.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:18 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

RSS feeds of stuff people could actually use. Mentions of your company or news from your field.
posted by dripdripdrop at 11:01 AM on January 19, 2012

For our wall-mounted biggish screen, I have been wanting to generate my own newsfeed, with useful info, alerts, and stupid jokes (people will ignore valuable info, but everybody reads jokes). Esp. if it had a news ticker.

I'd love links to some good data visualizations to display. thanks.
posted by theora55 at 11:21 AM on January 19, 2012

i put photos of full-screen eyes when we did this at my old job and it freaked everyone out. highly recommended
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 7:36 PM on January 19, 2012

Best answer: Dextr, a big screen Twitter client. The Robot Flaneur. Related, and apropos to the Hurtigruten link above, the Robot Voyager. Romance Has Lived Too Long Upon This River. Arrivals for Foursquare.

Yes, I collect them.
posted by deaddodo at 3:09 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

« Older No more film?   |   Help me find more information about Orange Bowl... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.