After the death of George Floyd, in the United States began a series of nationwide protests against police brutality and for racial justice. We saw online that there were protests with tens of thousands of people all parading the streets. Due to COVID-19, we sought a way to allow users to participate in protests from the safety and comfort of their own home.
What it does
eBanner is a crowdsourcing protesting tool that utilizes ePaper to display slogans that are voted on from the mobile app. Users can submit slogans or vote on other slogans in order to have the chance for their own slogan to be featured on the eBanner. The eBanner's displayed slogan can also be changed frequently, allowing multiple users to share their thoughts and cheers to support the protest's cause from afar.
How I built it
We built the frontend of the mobile app with Flutter. The simple user interface and the cross platform coding allowed us to target a broad audience, with both Android and iOS platforms available to participate. We submitted the slogans from the frontend via a post request to the backend. We used an E-Ink display, which can be electrically controlled. We used E-Ink because it can display the message even if it is not connected to power. Whenever the server hears a request, the E-ink will be updated, and the sign will display the selected slogan.
Challenges I ran into
We found out that the E-Ink is very tricky to program. The E-Ink has to follow a set of guidelines so that the display does not get ruined.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud to produce a working product that is accomplishes everything we sought out to do in the first place.
What I learned
We learned that E-Ink is very stubborn to work with, however can be a very useful tool when designing something like eBanner. Also, we learned all the specifications when working with E-Ink, such as, spacing the letters far apart, not refreshing it too often; all things you need to do in order to not damage the display.
What's next for eBanner
We hope to upgrade our product so users can submit images and their own hand designed banners, so that users can have a more interactive and artful experience. We also want to scale the display larger so that it can actually be used for protests.