Josh Nimoy
I am designing a new kind of dynamic type display signage.

Because I am trying to expand the world's limited number of methods for doing just this.

In order to better understand why there isn't a larger diversity of dynamic type display styles in existence, and in order to see what happens when you put a new one into the world.
Scenario #1 - This is just one example of one company. Bloomberg company's office is redesigning their lobby and they are looking for eye catching ways to display their stocks. They could set up a bunch of red ticker displays, but that would feel too much like the subway, or Times Square. Why not design a custom ticker that uses the gear driven parts of old historical mechanical stock ticker? It's a style thing.

Scenario #2 - The AIGA is a membership association for professional designers. Let's say they are building a new sign outside their building and they want to use a custom styled ticker to display design related news to the world, perhaps to compete with neighboring fifth Ave. buildings with flashy storefront displays. But they want to represent print design culture, and not computer culture. So why use little red pixels or a computer screen when you can set up print rollers?
I've done research to find out how many custom dynamic type components exist in electronics. There is a very limited number of styles or construction methods in existence.
I've also asked whether new kinds of dynamic type has been invented in situations of less constraint.

Yes, there are novel instances in media art and onscreen interactive design. My new prototype for a letterform falls into the same category as these works. I am producing the object in order to provoke thought in people.
Here are two other typeface robots I had produced at ITP while thinking about this exact design issue.
Now here is an onscreen interactive demo of the new typeface I am designing for my thesis. This is the interactive simulation of the object. You type a key on a keyboard, and it changes into the letter. Essentially, the typeface is presented for user testing and human enjoyment in the form of a toy.

[show metal & wood prototypes]
I have sent the sketches and applet out by email to many friends, as well as sat down with people at ITP casually and explained what I am doing. There has been a lot of feedback concerning the mechanics of the rollers and the behavior of the interactive demo, itself. No one has comments on the visual properties of the typeface, but I think it is commonly understood that this is the serendipitous part of the project and we all see what happens.
I am experimenting with new sketches on how I might possibly conserve the number of servo motors needed per letterform by possibly positioning them in some rotated tangle, also using different sized rollers. This might lend itself to making something that moves more organically and also becomes a more specialized display, formed only for letterforms and not for general pixel screen usage.

These ideas are not generally meant to go into the production of the object for my thesis - because I want to keep this thoughtspace open and away from my current technical commitments.