Quantified Office: Part 4 – Monitoring Coffee with Flic


Quantified Office: Part 4 – Monitoring Coffee with Flic

Quantified Office is a series in which we tackle interesting methods of data collection, analysis and visualization to quantify activities at InterWorks' offices.

Have you ever gotten up from your desk, walked over to the office kitchen, reached down to get coffee, only to find an empty coffee pot? If so, you personally know the inspiration behind our next installment in the Quantified Office series.

At our office, we have a large metal carafe for coffee (exactly like the metal ones with a lever on top that you often see at hotels). It lasts for several cups of coffee, but wandering into the kitchen to find the carafe empty is definitely a common frustration.

Luckily, with the power of Flic and IFTTT, we can resolve this problem (and gather some interesting data at the same time)!

How It’s Done

The Flic button has endless uses, but it needs to be connected to Bluetooth to operate. Basically, the Flic button doesn’t connect directly to Wi-Fi but instead routes through the Bluetooth device. Since we are in and out of the office so much, connecting this to one of our cell phones would not work. Luckily, we had an old iPhone laying around, so we simply installed the “Flic App” on it and connected it to our button. The old iPhone sits on the counter in the kitchen on a charger all day long – simply waiting for new button presses to relay.

Next, the “Flic App” will allow you to select “actions” to occur when the button is pressed once, double pressed or held for a few seconds. For our setup, we sent single button pushes and holds to IFTTT.

With IFTTT, we simply create a new recipe with “Flic” as our trigger and “Google Drive” as our action (see “Quantified Office: Part 3 – Gathering Data with IFTTT if you are not familiar with this process).

In addition, we set up a secondary recipe with a Slack notification so that we all know whenever someone makes new coffee!

Since we all like our coffee a certain way, we programmed “clicks” to be regular coffee and “holds” to be flavored. IFTTT passes this information out to the action, so it is easy to distinguish between the two in our Tableau dashboard and Slack notifications.


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