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Desk traffic light gauges, shows if you’re too busy

May 01, 2017, 7:06 AM EDT
(Source: HAMZA BUTT/flickr)
(Source: HAMZA BUTT/flickr)

Annoying interruptions at office desk, whether from a co-worker or boss, cost you focus, productivity and peace of mind. David Shepherd at ABB, an industrial engineering company, has developed a desk-mounted traffic light system that automatically tracks how busy an employee is at his workstation and signals to colleagues whether the person is open to talks or not.

The nifty FlowLight system connects to the user’s computer system via USB and monitors keyboard strokes as well as mouse clicks and movements to judge if the person can be disturbed on not, writes Mail Online. Depending on the level of activity, the light system glows red or green.

Jelmer Borst at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands is all praise for the system but he believes the FlowLight must also account a user’s pupil dilation to measure the cognitive load rather than just relying on “computer interaction” to track how hard someone is working, notes New Scientist.

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