A while ago I saw a post by Scott Hanselman about this little thing called BusyLight that he found for Lync. The concept is simple: a little orb lights up different colors based on your presence status on Lync. Lync is smart enough to automatically flag you as busy when your calendar says you're in a meeting or if your Lync is tied to your telephone (as mine is with the Office 365 Lync-to-Phone service), it flags you as busy when you're on a call. If you mark yourself as Do not Disturb, calls don't even ring and IMs don't even come in, they go straight to voicemail.
For those of us that work from home, it's great to have this sitting outside your home office to let the family know when you're on a call or recording or whatnot. My house is setup, very simply, as a big box with a big great room and the middle is wide open through the first & second floor with all the rooms along the exterior walls. My office is upstairs as far away from everyone as possible. I have a challenge with an 8yr & 3.5yr old when they come home from school or are just generally kids, specifically when I'm recording or on the phone.
I picked up one of these with two 16’ USB extenders to get it working in my home office. For months it was setup by just lying on the floor on the banister so you could see it from almost everywhere in the house. However I'm a stickler to make sure it is setup in a very clean and “no wires” setup. So this morning I crawled around the attic to run a USB cable from inside an existing light fixture outside my office door down through a wall to a computer that's always on. The computer is configured to auto login when it boots and also login to Lync for me. Now whenever my status changes, it always shows with a subtle light in the fixture outside the office, visible from almost everywhere in the house with no visible wires! Love it!
Check out the following pictures. One shows I'm available while the other shows I'm busy. They are a tad bit blurry… I snapped them quick with my camera phone:
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