May 16, 2014 AT 2:00 pm

IM status indicated via RGB LEDs mounted behind transparent nameplates using Raspberry Pi #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

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Reagen Ward posted this great project he made on hackaday.

I share a bullpen-style office with 3 other people, and while I love the set up, I found people would walk down our hallway only to find one of us away from our desks. In a (noble and selfless) effort to save everyone up to 8 seconds per day, I decided to visually indicate our presence using our IM status (Green = Available, Yellow = Away, Red = Busy). We have a nice side window by our door and transparent name plates, so the lights are very visible. In the photo above, I put a paper towel behind the nameplates for contrast.

The hardware is simple – A Raspberry Pi, 4 RGB LEDs, some leftover perfboard, and a ribbon cable. What was intended to be a rough prototype has remained in place since its installation, further supporting my mantra: Nothing is truly temporary.

Software is C++ using libpurple from the Pidgin project. The PoC used finch driven by Python over DBus. It was more baling wire than cement.

See the full project here.

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