Sid Lee Paris Office

Real-Time (Un)Interesting Data

Do you know how many times the toilet in your office has been flushed today? How many sheets of paper your coworkers have printed this month? Who’s beating whom at the foosball table in the breakroom?

You do if you work at Sid Lee Paris. The design agency has created an online dashboard that collects those and about a dozen other mostly useless tidbits of data from around the office: how often the front doors or open, how many times people use the stairs, cups of coffee and liters of water consumed -- even the number of times employees have pressed “undo”, and in which programs (they all consented to the keylogging app, which only records instances of CTRL-Z).

The agency describes the project as a design exercise in “real-time (un)interesting data”, saying the goal was to take boring or unimportant data and present it in an engaging way. The data is collected by an army of Arduinos hooked to various sensors, and is reported in real time to the web as a collection of cartoonish black-and-white infographics with subtle animations.

Connected Device Dashboards: Sid Lee Paris Office

While most of the information is unlikely to factor into high-level business decisions, that’s kind of the point. By offering a fairly immersive snapshot of the daily flows and routines of office life, the dashboard hints at one of the tensions of a future Internet of Things where literally everything can be connected, sensed, and analyzed. It captures both the overload of unnecessary information and the fascination of quantifying the mundane.

Learn more about Sid Lee Paris’ connected office in the video below.

Related: April Zero


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