Social Experiment using Connected Devices

At Altschool, we conducted a social experiment using connected devices. We have three restrooms for about 75 employees and it tends to get crowded during a typical working day. The line extends to the CTO’s desk and he suggested that we install a button that informs people (who are using the restroom) about the line outside. 

I installed this button from in the office. 

We installed a neopixel ring and a Particle Photon inside each restroom. They (Particle photon + LED ring) were installed inside a 3D printed case. When a line starts to form, people press the button. We used IFTTT to trigger the light. We received mixed responses from this experiment. 

We also recorded the presses to a spreadsheet. We learned that:

  • The restrooms get crowded around lunch
  • The restrooms were crowded on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • They were least crowded on Wednesdays due to “Work from Home Wednesdays”