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A combination of three sensors (phone, door, light
switch) are used to determine if you're in your office
and available. An intranet web site lists the status for
all offices in a company.
I spend far too much time getting up, grabbing a stack of
paper, and walking across the office to talk
just to find they're on the phone, out of their office,
or have their door closed (meaning "leave me alone" or
they're in a conference). Having such a resource would
save me trips and time. Maybe even add an "alert me when
[phundug, Oct 16 2008]
You can see everyone else
Awesome for paper darts too [Texticle, Oct 16 2008]
[hippo, Oct 17 2008]
Xerox: Portholes (paper)
[hippo, Oct 17 2008]
||Is John Inman in his office?
||You need an office design in which you can see everyone else, like in the link. Walking over there with a stack of papers is not straightforward though.
||Outlook does this. Right click on someones name and it tells you how long they will be free for or how long they are busy for
||Xerox EuroPARC used to do this (in the late 80's/early 90's). See the 'Portholes' links. You could peek into anyone else's office from you workstation. Just prior to you grabbing an image from the camera in their office, they would hear the noise (I think) of a creaky door opening, so they'd know to stop picking their nose. It was combined with loads of other cool technologies which I could go on and on about - e.g. everyone wore IR-transponder badges, so the building computer would always know where you were, the result of which was that wherever you were in the building, if the phone rang, it was for you. This also meant that you could look into the history of people's movements and ask, for example, what you were doing last Wednesday afternoon - the answer would come that you were in a certain meeting room and certain other people (identified by their badges) were there also. All very clever.
||Yeah - was about to say the ParcTab system.
||Email's great for certain types of information. I'm
an engineer and use drawings and calculations - both
of which are clumsy on a computer screen. The stack
of paper is usually a roll of marked-up drawings and
a notebook with my calculations. There's usually a
few pencils as well, and sometimes a calculator or
||[mia] That doesn't tell me if the person's on the
phone or has their door closed.
||Knocking is the polite thing to do. When you've done it, you can enter. You don't have to wait for a reply as come in. NONONONO, just knock and ENTER straight away. You sound overly polite and shy. Forget the knocking and just barge in from time to time. INTERUPT!!
||Why not just a small speaker to broadcast the snoring into the hall.
||[zeno] Around here, doors are always kept open
except when a lack of interruption is desired.
Knocking (and I suppose even barging) is certainly
within politeness standards, but is reserved for