By: Tom Cullen / July 27, 2016
Our quarterly Demo Day is a great measure of the success of our 20 percent rule because it gives our team the opportunity to share what they have been up to creating during that time. Last week we hosted our latest Demo Day. Here’s an update on a few of the latest projects from our team.
Doorman – Wade Novak, Developer
Our office has a single stall bathroom so it can be a bit of a hassle when it comes to determining if it is in use or not. People would either have to form a line (awkward!) or get up and check to see if the bathroom was open and if it wasn’t, return to their seat all while keeping a careful eye on its next availability.
Our developer, Wade, recognized this problem and used his IoT skills to create a smart door that integrates with Slack to let us know whether or not the bathroom is in use. Slack can accurately report the bathroom’s availability through a sensor, which determines whether the bathroom door is closed or not.
Next Steps: Wade is working on improving the housing for the sensor to seamlessly fit on the door.
Flo Rida – Brendan Hennessey, Co-Founder and CTO, and Dave Corwin, Developer
It’s no secret that we love our iced coffee and beer kegs, but one thing that troubles us is anticipating a reorder.
Currently, we wait until the kegs are empty to reorder, but this means waiting for another two to three days for them to be delivered. Two to three days without coffee or beer?! Unacceptable.
We wanted an accurate way to predict when the kegs were running low so we could place an order ahead of time.
Brendan and Dave brainstormed several different ways to love the problem:
Measure the weight of the kegs
Measure the height of the condensation line
Measure the speed of the flow rate
After close consideration, Brendan and Dave determined that the first three options would present other complications, so they decided on option four – measuring the speed of the flow rate, knowing that a faster flow rate meant a fuller keg and a slower one meant the keg was getting closer to running low.
They created a flow rate sensor to connect to the keg line, which outputs a signal for a volume of liquid. To capture the value and process data they used Particle to tell them how much liquid has been poured off. That data is then reported into a web app that accurately displays how many pints are left in a keg.
Next Steps: An automatic email or text alert for when the keg is low
Recipeasy – Paul Gonzalez, Product Developer, and Sarah Newell, Product Owner Intern
Recipeasy has been an ongoing project at LaunchPad Lab. Paul first debuted the idea to create an e-book for recipes, almost exactly a year ago at the same Demo Day event.
The project has grown immensely in the last year, including a leap in sales to the growing food blogger network.
At this Demo Day, Paul and Sarah showed us how they used an InDesign function to import data from code into a well laid-out e-book template.
By discovering and using this function the time it takes to make one e-book is dramatically decreased from six hours of work to just under two hours of work.
Next Steps: Continue to grow the business through sales to the food blogger network.
Rocket Buzzer – Scott Weisman, Co-Founder and Developer
You may have read about our super powered office buzzer, 007, in a previous blog post.
In short, we used Twilio to create a Slack integration that automatically buzzes people into our office once they dial 007 at the front door. This was a much-needed solution for a small digital office, like ours, in a large commercial building.
This Demo Day, Scott improved the project and gave it an official name, Rocket Buzzer™. He implemented Redis, an in-memory data structure store, to better manage the buzzer and give us options to keep the door open for events and also pre-schedule the door to stay open in case we were anticipating guest arrival at a certain time.
Next Steps: Implementation with new users that share the same problem in big cities.
Our next Demo Day will be on October 20. Feel free to use our nifty countdown clock on SPACE’s website to remind you.
If you’re interested in learning more about Demo Day, please reach out to us!
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