Wired In: blunt social cues for the workplace

Joshua Howland, Caleb Hicks, and Andrew Madsen launched a Kickstarter called “Wired In” today. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled desktop sign that lets co-workers know when you’re busy. It has the obtuse effect of shutting an office door in an unobtrusive package… that doesn’t require having your own office.

The inability to avert distractions from co-workers without the luxury of a door you can close is part of the reason I never did well in office environments. If you don’t have the remote-worker convenience of just turning off IRC for a bit, this could be a great solution. Even working from home, I actually want one myself to signal “on air” status upstairs when podcasting.

The product is a clear (replaceable) laser-etched acrylic slab on an aluminum base which signals your status by catching light from an LED in the etched portion. The sign allows remote control via Bluetooth or USB. There are three phrases available (In the Zone, Wired In, On Air), with customization options, including custom text and inverting the etching so that the background is etched and the text is clear.

There are myriad options for controlling the sign via Bluetooth 4.0, including Remote and Pomodoro apps on iOS, Mac, and Apple Watch. Wired In also has a RESTful API that you can integrate with tools such as Slack, HipChat, IFTTT, Zapier, and more. Thanks to the open architecture, there are plenty of automation options using AppleScript, Calendar, and keyboard shortcuts. There is, of course, a hardwired switch (on the Bluetooth model) as well.

“Wired In” looks like a simple piece of beautiful hardware with a lot of fun automation options. You can jump in on the Kickstarter campaign and get a sign with backing as small as $20 ($25k goal). More info on the Wired In homepage, and follow @wearewiredin on Twitter for updates.

Brett Terpstra

Brett is a writer and developer living in Minnesota, USA. You can follow him as ttscoff on Twitter, GitHub, and Mastodon. Keep up with this blog by subscribing in your favorite news reader.

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