Built.io Blog

Meet the ‘Connected Conference Room’ by Macadamian and Built.io at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

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We’re pleased to announce Built.io and Macadamian will be at the Microsoft Worldwide Partners Conference in Toronto, from July 10-14! We’ll be showing live demos of our ‘Connected Conference Room’ throughout the event. The concept was created to solve a problem employees face on a daily basis when it comes to meetings; getting kicked out of a conference room, waiting for another team to leave, or overlapping schedules. Even with the allure of the shiny iPad system at the door, people forget to check in or out.

connected-conference-room-web.jpg

We were inspired by the experience many of us have on some level in connected homes and decided to bring the best parts of it to the office. When you connect a light to a calendar as well as a physical space, suddenly you can quickly and intuitively remove common headaches associated with meeting logistics. From a technology perspective, the solution is made possible because Built.io Flow can connect anything with an API in minutes.

-Gal Oppenheimer, Senior Product Manager at Built.io

Macadamian and Built.io came together to provide a high impact solution using Philips Hue lights and Built.io Flow.

Watch this demo video to see what we’re talking about, or schedule a ‘Connected Conference Room’ demo at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partners Conference by emailing Timon LeDain at tledain@macadamian.com or Gal Oppenheimer at gal@built.io. Gal and Timon are also happy to chat about which Microsoft technologies can be connected using Built.io Flow on premises.

USER EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW

A busy indicator light is installed outside the room (think of the red/green light you see in underground parking garages that tell you if the spot is free). That light will tell someone, at a glance, if the room is available immediately.

A usage monitor uses a motion sensor or ambient noise detector in the room to determine if the room is currently occupied. If the room is booked, yet unoccupied, the system will automatically release the room to make it available to other people. The system will attempt to contact the owner of the meeting before unbooking to give the owner a last chance to keep the room.

An ambient indicator in the conference room (a light) will slowly change color when the end of the booked meeting time is approaching. This indicator will give different feedback if there is something else scheduled in that room or if it is free.

You can read more about the demo on Macadamian’s blog or our joint press release.

FLOW TECHNICAL OVERVIEW

To successfully create a connected conference room, integrations are a must. Macadamian used Built.io Flow to power our connected solution because it empowered their developers to build robust and agile integrations quickly.

The connected conference room is powered by four flows that connect the indicator light, motion sensor, and microservices. The flows used leverage the pre-made activities as well as numerous developer tools available in Built.io Flow.

Calendar Trigger Flow
This flow parses the meetings for each conference room and updates the status of each room and passes the information to the Light Control flow.

Light Control Flow
Once the status required has been sent, the light control flow takes over. This flow sets the inside and outside indicators to the correct states. Based on the meeting and occupancy information, the lights are scheduled to change to the correct states.

Notification Flow
In addition to the indicator light, there is an automated email reminder that is sent based on the time before or during a meeting slot. The meeting organizer is first reminded that there is a meeting, if the room is not occupied within XX minutes another email is sent stating that the room is not occupied and that the room will be released in XX minutes. Once the can buffer time has passed, the meeting organizer is notified that the meeting has been cancelled and the Light Control Flow adjusts the indicators to the correct state.

Insteon Flow
This flow provides a user with the ability to schedule a meeting during a time slot if there is a conference room available during the requested time slot. If the time slot is available, the meeting is created and the data is passed to the other flows.

These four flows run asynchronously, passing only the required data to keep each meeting room updated. By separating the four main tasks, the integration is much lighter and requires much smaller instances. In addition, the smaller instances, the system is resilient and robust when there is a hardware or microservice issue.

Leveraging this technology is easy by yourself on Built.io, or Macadamian would be happy to assist you as well.

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