Making something for the Stay-at-home TH/NGS Jam

A week ago I saw this post on Instagram:

I attended and presented a workshop at Thingscon in Berlin in 2014, and it was one of the best conference experiences I've had. I haven't had a chance to attend it since, but have been keeping an eye on their Instagram feed for interesting events.

I really like the idea of this Stay-at-Home TH/NGS Jam:

Physical connection in time of virtual gathering

With most of my family and friends living overseas, I've been wanting to introduce more physicality into virtual connections for a long time. This seems like a great opportunity to both work on some ideas to make it happen, and to learn from others doing the same thing.

One idea would be to draw a map of a someone's home, and stick NFC tags on each room. You can then build a form of virtual “hide-and-seek”, where the remote person can state that they're in a specific room by linking to one of the tags, and you use a mobile phone to scan these tags and find out which “room” they're in. While too basic for adults, I think this could be fun for a toddler and their grandparents.

The same concept can be used for a company that works from home, where the video conferencing software may indicate which people are in each video chat, by linking these video chats to specific tags. To find out who is busy, or maybe hanging around the virtual water cooler, you scan a paper map of the virtual office.

One option would be to use Web NFC, a new technology available in Chrome on Android (in an origin trial since v81) that allows for the reading and writing of NDEF data from NFC tags. That simplifies the programming of this project to building a website.

I've already ordered some NFC tags from eBay to play with, and may even integrate my Espruino Pixl.js, a Bluetooth-enabled smart LCD that is NFC-capable.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting

#100DaysToOffload #day31