Robin is a digital office manager, designed to make it easier for people to interact with their workplace and with one another.
The developers at Robin Powered, Inc. (formerly One Mighty Roar) say Robin grew out of the realization that “something special happens when great digital experiences collide with great physical experiences.” To that end, they’ve designed Robin as a technology that works mostly in the background, seamlessly streamlining the office experience.
The system uses presence sensors like iBeacon to keep track of who’s in each room, which is where most of the system’s power comes from. Knowing the who and the where, Robin can automate tasks like booking a conference room, taking meeting attendance, or customizing the information on wall displays.
Other sensors let Robin know the way a room is being used. Based on the volume of background noise, Robin knows the difference between two people sitting quietly and two people having an impromptu meeting -- only the latter needs the room to show as “booked” on the office calendar, so Robin takes care of it.
Robin’s smartphone and web apps give users an immediate snapshot of the office -- who’s in a meeting with whom, which rooms are available -- while also keeping privacy controls in the user’s own hands. The system supports flexible “personas” that let the user decide ahead of time what data will be shared with which other users, and in what context. Calendars should be shared only with co-workers; a presentation should be shared with a client, but only once both people are at the meeting in room 2B.
The software behind Robin is hardware-agnostic, meaning there’s flexibility in the brand and type of sensors any particular workplace decides to use. A forthcoming RESTful API will help developers add new, customized rules and capabilities based on the needs and imaginations of their own coworkers.
Earlier this week, Robin Powered announced a $1.4 million funding round, led by Atlas Venture, Deep Fork Capital, Boldstart Ventures, and Space Pirates, which will help the company complete a pilot program in offices around Boston this summer. The Robin software should be widely available in fall 2014, with monthly pricing based on the size of the office. Visit robinpowered.com to learn more or to sign up for notifications.
Related: Bluetooth Beacon Handbook
Author: Ted Burnham