I need to set up a computer display for a number - with flair
September 29, 2018 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I have been tasked with setting up a display screen for an event where the Grand Total will be displayed with some sort of animated pizzazz. It's just one number that will be revealed to an audience on a projector. There has to be a simple way to set this up.

Imagine this scenario which is close enough: There is an event with shifts full of people making friendship bracelets. At the end of each shift they want a screen that, in some dramatic fashion, reveals the total bracelets made on that shift. We may also want to add a running total for the day but that's not critical. There will be time for the person running the event to enter the number in the system and no math has to be done by the system. Simply: insert number, display number on command. It doesn't have to be super pretty but it has to work easily and consistently.

In my head there is a line of flip-digits that roll over and each one stops on the appropriate number in order. Possibly a screen slowly un-blurs to reveal the number. Fireworks, confetti, and a fanfare would not be out of place. I've seen this sort of thing but I'm not hitting on the right search terms to find it.

We will have a projector and a Windows laptop, but I also have Macs, Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, Linux, etc. so suggestions for any type of hardware/software is welcomed. I'm good with hardware and coding in various languages but almost nothing I do has a GUI or user front-end, so I am at a bit of a loss here.

This is a non-profit so I'd like to spend nothing or very little to make this happen.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
How about powerpoint? There are tons of ways to animate this, easy to project, east to update. Easy to have either one slide with current and running totals or 2 slides looping etc. I can't think of a simpler faster way than this. PowerPoint animations have gotten really creative the last few years.
posted by chasles at 11:20 AM on September 29, 2018 [4 favorites]

Powerpoint would be my first thought.

You could also use CSS animations, and conveniently, there are some CSS animation generators around. Here's one.
posted by adamrice at 12:30 PM on September 29, 2018

I hadn't thought of PowerPoint for some reason. I'll have to see if they want to spring for a license or if I can do the same in LibreOffice or similar.

The CSS animator link is getting very close to what I was thinking.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 12:46 PM on September 29, 2018

Write a series of web pages with a meta redirect. I was shocked to hear how many six-figure electronic billboards are IE6 visiting a web page with a meta redirect. Make sure you disable screensavers, sleep, and updates.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 2:34 PM on September 29, 2018

It looks like Odometer JS library will do the fancy flippy-numbers thing you want with minimal hassle.

Then you can just keep the browser's Web Developer Tools open on a different screen and set the innerHTML property of the element from there to show new numbers. Anyone who knows Web stuff ought to be able to figure it out.
posted by neckro23 at 2:45 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

A Mac with Keynote has a couple of fairly dramatic slide transitions (complete with a small amount of dust that clouds up).
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:03 PM on September 29, 2018

If you do go for the Powerpoint solution, you can get a free trial download of Office 365 for 30 days.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 11:44 PM on September 29, 2018

Seconding that Odometer JS library neckro23 links. Powerpoint, while widely accessible, is pretty weaksauce as a presentation medium when compared with what can be done with html and css these days. And your particular application is simple and bare-bones enough that you won't need much skill to pull it off.
posted by axiom at 11:54 AM on October 1, 2018

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