AFTER YEARS of hanging a tie on the door, the lack of a lock on the toilet door at INQ Towers has finally been solved.
The brainchild of Brian W Wolter when his company moved into an office without enough toilets, Occu-Pi works in a similar way to the signs in train carriages, but rather than a light up sign, the Occu-Pi has a far more 21st-century solution.
Using a magnetic switch on the door lock as a contact, by locking the stall, a signal is sent to the Raspberry Pi, which then posts a message in the appropriate Slack channel that the toilet is either vacant or occupied.
Result - no waiting in queues unnecessarily, meaning improved productivity. People in stalls aren't disturbed by people trying the door. After all, it's so easy to get throne off in these situations.
Wolter, revelling in his loo role explains: "The state change is updated via a REST endpoint running on an AWS Lambda function which in turn updates a Slack channel so the current availability is always a glance away."
Occu-Pi costs about $75 (£57) to build and Mr Wolter has kindly given a step-by-step guide of how to make one of your own at the first link above. It's in loo of manufacturing them himself.
Now the system is up and running, they're flushed with success, but there are lots of ways to take it to the next level for version Number Two - controlling the lights and heating to save money, right through to a log (fnaaar) of users so that a "the one who smelt it dealt it" resolver can be implemented.
That's not icky at all, is it? μ
The week in Google
The scandal that just keeps giving
Clip to the end....