Open-plan offices with too many desks crammed into them are the scourge of many a tech start-up, and at [Danny Salzman]’s employer, distractions reached an all-time high. His boss instigated a free/busy indicator using coloured cards, but he felt he could do one better and came up with an IoT status light to do the job.
At its heart is a machinery status light of the tri-colour “traffic light” variety, driven by a set of relays under the command of a Particle Photon STM32 ARM Cortex M3 based microcontroller board. The plan to write a super-clever API and integration with Slack or Google Calendar never came together, instead it’s operated by a set of bash shell aliases.
Unfortunately for [Danny] though, it didn’t work as intended. Instead of his colleagues staying away as he had hoped, they flocked to his desk to ask about the new feature, making it not entirely useful as a “Do Not Disturb” light. Still, we like it, and it’s given us ideas about those machinery status lights.
He says he may dig it out for his home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Perhaps he could take some inspiration from this home WiFi status dongle.