The 21st century workplace is a marvel to behold. We’ve got snacks, bike rooms, recycling, Slack channels, shared Google Docs, unflattering overhead lights, and Wi-Fi. Technology makes it easy to collaborate with coworkers without having to actually speak to them, so imagine my shock when I heard about the Luxafor, a light that’s designed to plug into your PC, or connect over Bluetooth, and then stick up from your desk to communicate to your colleagues whether you’re available to be bothered. The company attempted a Kickstarter last year, too, but failed to raise enough funds. Luxafor imagines a situations where you’re deep into an Excel spreadsheet and your coworker decides she wants to come chat about her weekend. She walks over to your desk only to see your Luxafor status light set to the “leave me alone” setting and sulks away without saying anything. Maybe she’ll send you a message.
In a world where Slack refuses to give us status indicators of worth, maybe a physical light could work. But seriously, who still talks to their coworkers? I love my Verge peeps, but most of the day we’re writing or doing interviews. We stay in touch digitally, though. I assumed that's how most modern offices operated, or at least offices that would be willing to back a Kickstarter project.
Now, Luxafor primarily markets itself as a physical status light, but it can also let you know when you have a digital notification, like an upcoming calendar event. It’ll eventually work with IFTTT, too, so you can set the Luxafor to blink when you receive an email with certain words or when the office door opens. Luxfor can blink in a bunch of different colors, can also work as a timer, and comes in three different sizes. They start at $17. I wonder how many coworkers I can deter from ever speaking to me.