by Hollie Wegman ・ Office Hacks

Office Hack #21 — IFTTT’s Sign Hack

Envoy is all about making things easier and more fun in the office. In that spirit, we are proud to bring you our new Envoy Office Hacks podcast series. Every week, we deliver the coolest, most ingenious, and just plain fun fixes people have invented to improve efficiency and productivity in their workplace.

This week’s Envoy Office Hack is designed to spark the hack bug in all of us.

It’s brought to you by IFTTT (If This Then That), a company that not only appreciates hacks, it actively encourages them. Indeed, this is the very core of what IFTTT is; making things that wouldn’t necessarily work together, work together.

Listen to this story on our Office Hacks podcast.

It may be no surprise that IFTTT’s office hack lets the public use one tool to affect another. In this case, it’s Twitter messing with IFTTT’s company sign. The sign even has its own Twitter account.

A tweet using this specific handle above, can change the look of IFTTT’s sign hanging in the window of its San Francisco office.

One simply needs to tweet their color of choice to the IFTTT Lights account, @IFTTTLights and presto change-o. Neat-o.

The idea came from an IFTTT engineer named Nicholas Silva (not pictured above) who wondered how the IFTTT office space could be brought to life for users; the same way IFTTT recipes let users control anything they want. Building a controllable, hackable neon sign seemed to make sense, but Nicholas needed help.

“He reached out to somebody on our Reddit community who was really excited about being a maker and essentially made these new frames and boxes to put our light bulbs in so that we could give the sign more functionality. It was the idea of one, how do you explain what we are building here at IFTTT, and then secondly, how do you give that surprise and delight to any of our users as they’re walking on by?” Anne Mercogliano, Marketing, IFTTT

And people are delighted. A recent mob of pride-paraders noticed the sign while marching down Market street. The result was a flashy show of rainbow colors in the second-storey IFTTT window.


> “We put it up to make sure it was there in time for Pride week, so it was really great, you can see how people discover it. It can get pretty active, particularly when there’s something big going on on Market Street.” > Anne Mercogliano, Marketing, IFTTT

 

How to hack it

IFTTT used some custom code in combination with some proprietary top-secret recipes to make the lights work. However, if you feel inspired to do something fun with lights using IFTTT, check out these channels: • https://ifttt.com/huehttps://ifttt.com/lifx

Listen & subscribe

You can listen to the full story in the Envoy Office Hacks podcast. Please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes — just click here and hit ‘subscribe’.