Split-flap displays, otherwise known as Solari signs, are the clickity-clackaty signs you see in train stations and airports. I set out to emulate one using Processing and display it on a huge flatscreen monitor. I wanted it to be interactive, so it animates in real-time and can pull content from Twitter.
Each tile is individually modelled and animated with some of the same mechanical quirks as the originals. For example, they will occasionally misfire and fail to advance for a split-second, putting them all pleasingly out-of-sync with each other. Or, if a character isn't available in the limited set of tiles, it will spin forever, or at least until the target character is changed.
The impetus for this project was Sidney York needing a really cool merch sign. This did the trick — it cycles between listing merch prices and showing live tweets. It was on display at the AMP Radio Rock Star 2013 final, and had people standing and tweeting at it incessantly.See my source code on GitHub