Even in an office where walls separate every employee, it's hard not to get distracted by a passing co-worker. So imagine how hard it is to focus in an open concept setting where everyone works at shared desks. The folks at GreyNut were dealing with that exact problem, so they created the Luxafor: a small light-up flag that tells your co-workers when you're not to be disturbed.
Using a simple red light/green light approach, the Luxafor can be configured from a small app on your computer. There's a manual mode that lets you specify whether you're too busy to talk or free to chat, an automatic mode that raises the red flag when you're using certain programs, and even a notification mode causing the Luxafor to flash when new emails or other messages arrive. So it's not a one-trick pony. It's a two-trick pony.
It's a little passive-aggressive, at least compared to slapping on a pair of monstrous over-the-ear headphones that send a similar message. But it keeps employees connected to what's going on around them. And for those of us who are too polite to simply turn a chatty co-worker away, it's a slightly subtler way to let them know to move along.
The folks at GreyNut have turned to Kickstarter to help make the Luxafor available to offices all around the world, and there will actually be two versions available if and when their $42,000 (£28,000) crowdfunding goal is met. A wired version that plugs into a USB port and can be pre-ordered for $21 (£14), and a wireless Bluetooth version that's obviously a little more pricey at $52 (£35) but means there's not another cable for you to wrangle at your desk.
The Luxafor's creators are confident they can have the device in backer's hands as early as July of this year, but it's always smart to take Kickstarter delivery dates with a grain of sale since there are countless production hurdles and speedbumps that will arise that could delay delivery. That being said, the Luxafor isn't exactly cutting-edge technology. It's just a clever re-purposing of existing tech that promises to keep chatty co-workers at bay, so here's hoping it quickly makes it to market. [Kickstarter - Luxafor via Taxi]