While we may have featured plenty of big tech news from CES 2018, it’s been awfully quiet on the cool design front. That is, until now. Inspired by the split-flap displays found in train stations across Europe, take a look at the Vestaboard, an Internet-connected retro message board.
The Vestaboard may just be a message board, but you be hard pressed to find one more beautiful. Despite its retro aesthetic, however, it is built for 21st century use. Firstly, the board has room to display 161 characters (perfect for a tweet), including letters, numbers, symbols, and various colours. In total, there’s 70 different options available for each character.
The 23×7 grid of mechanical characters means the Vestaboard is roughly the size of a 42-inch TV, which means the idea is that the Vestaboard is put up on your wall – much like a TV or large piece of artwork. To keep things contemporary and to save you having to get behind the board for every message, you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection to use it.
Once you’ve connected to the Vestaboard app (iPhone and Android), setup consists of a few simple steps where you’ll just need to create an account. From there, you can update your board to your heart’s content and you’ll never need to re-connect it to Wi-Fi unless you make changes to your router or Internet connection.
The Vestaboard can receive custom messages, or you can set it up to pipe in updates from apps like Twitter, Slack, and Google Calendar. You can even respond to voice commands from Alexa or Google. In theory, you’ll be able to control and display messages on your Vestaboard from anywhere in the world.
The Vestaboard is available for pre-order now at the Vestaboard Website with deliveries expected to begin in December. The only issue? It’s not cheap. At full price, a Vestaboard will set you back around £2,560 ($3,495), though they do have a CES pre-order special on now where you can get hold of one for around £1,355 ($1,850).