June 10, 2015
The creative minds over at Viget are at it again. This time they have created an elegant solution for an everyday problem: finding an open meeting room at a moment’s notice. They call their solution Illumigami.
Viget is a digital agency (that, as it turns out, is way more than just a digital agency) headquartered in Falls Church, VA. They also have offices in Boulder, CO, and Durham, NC. These offices are buzzing with activity and people are constantly coming and going. There are also a lot of conference calls, remote team meetings, etc. that need to take place on a daily basis. With all this activity, meeting rooms are coveted spaces.
A little over a year ago, some innovative thinkers had the idea for a device they could hang outside of meeting rooms to let people know whether a room was in use. It was thought of as something similar to an “On Air” light. Red means the room is in use, green means it’s available. From this brainstorm, Illumigami was born.
The first prototype was basically a ball of paper wrapped in LED lights. The lights were connected to a web app which was linked to Google Calendar. When someone reserved a room, it would signal to the lights which color they should be. This worked well, but it wasn’t very elegant. They knew they could develop something even better.
“Finding an elegant solution to an everyday problem is not as straightforward as you may think,” says Justin Sinichko, a project manager at Viget. “I think what Viget does a good job of, and what’s also a challenge, is looking at these problems and trying to find creative solutions. Just putting a light in front of a door, it could just be a bulb, it could just be a hue light, and that’s one approach, but it wouldn’t be elegant. It wouldn’t be something you’d want hanging up all the time, and it might only have a month or two life before you decide ‘okay, that was cool, but now it needs to go.'”
They got to work on designing a product that would be visually beautiful as well as functional. A solution was found by using origami. Illumigami is a paper origami lantern with LED lights inside. They also developed a custom software that connects Illumigami to their office resource calendar. Aside from the paper lanterns, they have also used a 3D printer to create some new unique designs.
So far Illumigami is being used exclusively inside Viget’s offices. However, they’ve made quite an impression on visitors and word of this innovative product has gotten around. It’s a perfect solution for coworking spaces, and at least one coworking space in Boulder has already inquired about the lanterns.
Viget is still gauging interest and have yet to decide what the next step will be with Illumigami. Right now they’re just excited about their fun solution that enhances both the function and character of their offices.
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