Stoplight tips workmates to leave you alone

FlowLight at work

A green light means it’s OK to chat with a FlowLight user. (UBC Photo)

It’s a classic conundrum for coders: Sometimes you get so absorbed in what you’re doing that you hate being interrupted, and you can’t even stop to put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.

That’s where FlowLight could come in handy.

The gadget, invented by a computer scientist at the University of British Columbia, monitors your keystrokes and mouse clicks to determine how deeply you’re engaged in your work. When the activity hits a pre-set level, the light on the device turns from green to red.

“The light is like displaying your Skype status – it tells your colleagues whether you’re busy or open for a chat,” Thomas Fritz, an assistant professor at UBC who started work on the invention at the University of Zurich, explained in a news release.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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