The following post relates to the Gelatine Checkin System. It describes the public screen application that visualises Gelatine users’ checkin information.
The Gelatine public screen application aims to increase users’ awareness of other coworkers, and help users find like-minded peers who work from the same space. The screen displays a tag cloud with keywords that describe the skills and areas of expertise as well as questions and needs of all current coworkers in a space. As such, it is designed to provide a central point of information about opportunities for engagement with currently co-present users.
This application aims to connect a coworking community based on skills, needs and interests, rather than friendship or acquaintanceship. The main goal is to nurture a knowledge community by facilitating each individual user to acquire new knowledge and skills through face-to-face encounters and interaction with other coworkers. Users can check-in and display their own skills and backgrounds, hence become a potential learning facilitator for others in the space.
The screen answers three basic questions for people in a coworking space:
- How can other coworkers help me?
- How can I help other coworkers?
- What areas of interests / conversational topics can I engage in with other co-workers?
Users can edit their skills/needs and interests through an online personal profile page, and confirm their presence when they arrive in the space via their membership swipe cards at a Checkin Point. The tag cloud on the screen is updated in real-time according to the users’ profiles who check in. The visualisation is time sensitive, i.e. skills/needs/interests of users who have checked in most recently are displayed in bigger font-size in the top left corner and decrease in size and position towards the bottom-right corner for checkins further in the past. If a user is interested in a particular skill, they can tap on the respective keyword and a pop-up window reveals the current location of the person who has volunteered to share that particular skill.
The application is based on the WordCram open-source solution for word clouds in Processing. The source code is on github, and can be applied to three individual screens, that specifically display available skills, needs and interests of checked in users. It feeds real-time information from the Gelatine API.