If you go to your favorite news site or cable channel, you’ll come across lots of information related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, much of what you see isn't news so much as conjecture, and the same facts being rehashed over and over again. If you would prefer to glance at things framed in terms of simple data points on a map, with a few relevant icons, then this WiFi-enabled tracker could be a perfect solution.
The wall-mounted status board — which is constructed out of 2020 extrusions along with 3D-printed and laser-cut parts — features a translucent map of the world with points of light representing the relative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in 32 countries. This data is pulled from covidapi.info once per hour via an ESP32 microcontroller and stored on an SD card.
Current data can be displayed, or the disease's history can be played back with an animate button, revealing its the progress over days and months. Icon panels are also implemented, used to indicate worldwide info such as “LOCAL,” “QUARANTINE,” and “PANDEMIC." Numerical data is shown at the bottom, with individual country stat panels selected using an encoder knob.
Project creator, Reuben, “built the COVID-19 tracker during quarantine to provide a distraction to help alleviate anxiety of a loved one showing all symptoms of a coronavirus.” Thankfully all is clear as of this writing for that person, and we hope that soon the ALL CLEAR and VACCINE icons will light up on his device to signify that things are back to normal.
Despite it’s ominous meaning, it’s a beautiful piece. Perhaps it will be put on display in a museum or or other institution someday, reminding us of the events of 2019 and 2020.