The Nerdery is a company of 500 web developers and user experience designers. With bathrooms being scattered throughout thousands of square feet, a lot of time is lost roaming through the large workplace to use a bathroom (and preferably a private one!). As a company that thrives off billable client work, both the client and the company lose when an employee has to take an extra long “lunch”.

We noticed people constantly walking up to the door, rarely getting a chance to use it due to the popularity. My friend Chris and I, who sat in view of this bathroom, cringe when seeing failed attempts of people hoping to relieve themselves. We somehow joked that an indicator could help our coworkers by cobbling together parts from recent Adafruit impulse buys. Then we found ourselves staying late to screw the reed sensor to a door frame.

A shelf above a small cube farm looked to have some hope for getting a message across. We came to the conclusion that an airplane bathroom heads up could help save people time. First we started with an Arduino Uno to get the door to trigger the LEDs, but knew we wanted something a little more internet connected for a technology company like The Nerdery.

We looked at many different boxes that could get us on the internet fast; The Arduino Yun, Raspberry Pi, and others. None of which stood out to be as simple as the Spark Core to help provide API access from/to your sensors. We’ve still ran into some small problems, but overall it’ll help you get to spun up much quicker than configuring a web server manually.

Within moments we had the Spark Core online and received values from a button using their iPhone app. After looking through the API for the web; we knew there was something to work with. Let’s get this wired up and ready for the web.

This guide was first published on Dec 15, 2014. It was last updated on Dec 15, 2014.

This page (The Problem) was last updated on Dec 10, 2014.

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