How we created a first alert machine for food in the office

Because 2nd place is just a hungry loser

There always seems to be free food floating around the office and our concierge, Eddie, knows exactly where to find it. He’ll send out company-wide emails telling everyone they can gorge themselves on whatever leftovers are available from the last client meeting — cupcakes, bbq pork ribs, sandwiches, Dean and Deluca (!!) or maybe a Cobb salad.

But if you’re not checking your email when Eddie sends the invite, you’ll go hungry, especially during intern season. Food disappears fast here.

We wanted to give our team an edge, so we made the Eddie-O-Matic: a free food notification machine which alerts us via Eddie’s trademark bell ding.

It’s a competitive sport to get free food at Barkley and we on the Moonshot team were losing. Not anymore.

How it Works

We’re using a webhook provided by context.io to constantly monitor the Moonshot inbox for new messages from Eddie. When one arrives, a web application checks to see if the contents/subject of the e-mail look like food (donuts, beer, etc). If a match exists, the app will then notify a photon microcontroller of what’s available and gives it’s best guess as to what floor to get it.

You can make one of your own by cloning the github repo.


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