Shift starts now
We wanted to take the regular check-in-process a bit further by making it a permanent feature in the studio.
All staff was equipped with an RFID-card (pretty much like a credit-card, but without loads of cash on it) to put in their wallets. These cards all had unique id's, by which they could be recognized. We then mounted an USB RFID-reader with good range in the entrance to our studio.
To control things, a small Ruby application was made which registered so called connections to the RFID-reader (built using libraries like Ruby FFI and LibUSB).
This meant, that every day we could see when people came and left. Like a modern version of the old industrial clocking-in-card type-of-thing. Pretty scary stuff!
Hooking it up
With the coming and leaving part up and running we developed the application further. We created a Facebook Application and had all people in the studio grant it access, meaning that the application at any time wass allowed to make a post to the users stream.
With that in place it was just for us to keep track of the connections in the database and broadcast different messages at different times.
So, when arriving to the studio in the morning, I just walk in to my desk and I'm automatically checked-in to Facebook Places and the Yours office, by a post in my feed. Pretty sweet.
How could we take it to the next level? Why not have us all choose a track from Spotify and have it queued to our office-playlist (broadcasting through AirTunes/AirFoil) when entering the office?
Done — by some black magic and by using our LibSpotify C-API we built before. But that's another project. And story.
The best cure for a cold monday morning? Walking in the studio, automatically getting checked-in to Facebook Places, making a coffee and your all-time favorite song starts playing. Just nice.