By the end of the year, the MTA has announced it will install interactive, touch-screen maps for helping travelers and commuters navigate the city’s latticework of subway lines. The 47-inch, stainless-steel-encapsulated screens will instantly plot the quickest route to any other stop on the map with a tap of the finger. The tool will also take into account any delays or construction, providing riders with to-the-minute arrival times. The displays will double as a safety communication platform, complete with video cameras and microphones that will allow for the quick dispatch of emergency services. It is likely the displays will also stream a frequent slew of ads–a major part of the MTA’s revenue.
The displays, designed in part by Control Group, hope to take some confusion out of daily routes for the system’s five million daily riders. The real innovation is yet to come, however. Technology visionaries are already envisioning upgrades and thinking about how the system can integrate with third party apps. One future update could display points of interest on the map determined by the season or by the night as destination popularity varies, as well as sports scores and weather.
This FastCoDesign article lays out some of the more intriguing uses that could come. The built-in cameras could be utilized as a tool to measure how crowded a platform is, and relay the info to an app. The screens could also entertain train patrons as they wait. Network-wide trivia games, for example, could pit one subway stop against another.
Photo: Control Group