Office Hack #7 — Connecting Coffee to the Internet
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.
Today’s Office Hack turns a common everyday annoyance into an everyday convenience. Pub Nub found a way to connect their office pot of coffee to the internet.
The employees at global data stream network, Pub Nub, like their coffee. A lot. The problem is, they like to drink it more than they like to make it.
Inspired by the very work they do: help clients connect, scale and manage IoTdevices and other apps, they decided to have a little fun with their coffee problem.
So, they purchased an everyday kitchen scale…
…hacked into it…
…and connected the realtime data from the scale (aka: the volume of coffee in the pot at any given point) to a network (aka: Pub Nub).
This means any caffeine-loving employee can check a website, from anywhere, anytime, to see the status of the office coffee.
You can read more about exactly how they did it, on the Pub Nub blog. It even features the intern who helped make the hack happen, and these handy diagrams on steps and components.
The hack even had unexpected benefits on employee behaviour.
“It’s funny. Just having this connected device here made people more conscious of how much coffee was in the pot, and I think we had at this golden age of people refilling things, because they knew that someone could tell. It’s sort of like they knew if they emptied the pot and left it there, people would know, so… even if people weren’t necessarily watching, people still acted better.” Eric Grossman, Pub Nub
How to hack it
If you’d like to set-up your own realtime data streaming kitchen scale, you’ll need the following:
- Digital Kitchen Scale ($13)
- Microcontroller with I/O and WiFi: this + this ($7)
- PubNub pub/sub messaging to stream data ( Pricing here)
- Source Code and Schematics ( no cost)
- Total cost — approx. $20+
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’.