Quirky NYC Train Sign adds real-time subway data to home decor

October 9, 2017

Image courtesy of NYC Train Sign via Instagram

New York City life got easier when we could see live data on when the next subway train would arrive via signs on platforms, in stations and on our mobile phones. Now a Brooklyn-based startup called NYC Train Sign has created a way to display that data in our homes and businesses (h/t Curbed). In an interesting evolution of the wall clock, the company’s flagship product is an artfully-designed countdown clock that displays real-time MTA data for trains in both directions for any train stop you choose. You can add a customized text slide, logo and real-time weather updates, too.


The company’s founder, Bushwick resident Timothy Woo, created the prototype in 2016 in response to his own wish for reliable train data without having to leave home (or even poke around on his smartphone, apparently). NYC Train Sign was made using Raspberry Pi, a LED matrix, and a 3D printed base. Using the company’s own API, they host official MTA data to provide real-time data. The signs are available in basic black, sleek metal and “premium” wood, and blend seemlessly into home, office, or bar decor. They’re priced starting at $299 for home use; companies can rent the signs for $29 a month.

The company has bigger goals that go beyond selling lots of cool signs. They employ local vendors and community members and try to “create an opportunity for local artists, designers, engineers, and people who maybe don’t look so great on paper, but have a lot of grit.” Another goal is to expose kids in local schools to programming and computer systems at a young age to help build the next generation of designers and technology disruptors. Dara Denney, NYC Train Sign’s director of sales and marketing explains, “We’d love to start running on a model where we can donate a unit to a Bushwick school with every purchase.”

[Via Curbed]


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