bPolite is a prototype community curated message board intended to create a place where community discussions could happen in the physical world, thus increasing the sense of community within a neighborhood.


bPolite consists of a chalkboard attached to a scrolling display showing a question. Members of the community can use chalkboard space to answer the question and build a response together. Questions could be anything from how to deal with a neighborhood issue to what peoples favorite ice cream flavor is. If a member of the community has an idea for a question, they can text the display from any phone (they don’t have to have a smart phone) and their question will be posted to the display after being checked by a moderator who also lives in that community.

Additionally, photos of the responses are taken using a small camera that is pointed at the board. The pictures are posted to a website so that members of the community can see the responses to different questions (this was only partially implemented in our prototype).

We used a variety of tools and techniques to create our prototype including: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, twillio (for SMS), vacuum forming, and basic fabrication techniques. Full technical writeup can be found here.

Mock up website:


Progress Photos: