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As final drinks are being called on the second-last day of Build, we’d like to shine a light on an app that should be considered staple at web design conferences worldwide. Conceptualized by Andy McMillan at Build, then designed and built by Nicholas Felton and Go Free Range, Caffeine Monitor calculates and displays the vital signs of attendees. That’s right, we’re talking the number of drinks consumed and the ever-important caffeine content therein:

Caffeine Monitor in action

Naturally, we’re well pleased to have lent a hand in bringing this beautiful creation to Build and would love you to check it out.

Grinding the numbers (and beans)

Collecting results on the iPhone
Picture by @eoghanmccabe

Probably one of the last things you need is a counter showing how much caffeine you personally consume on a daily basis. But when it comes to plotting the litres (or gallons) of coffee and tea being consumed across an entire conference, then things get fascinating.

To collect the data required to power Caffeine Monitor, a simple web app was created and distributed to the folks serving coffee and tea over the duration of the conference (see right). Using data from the app and some constants like the number of attendees present and the amount of liquid and caffeine within each precious cup, Caffeine Monitor gets to work, updating live for display on the main stage and TV’s around the venue.

Caffeine Monitor, live on screen
Picture by @deadlysatsuma

Personally, I love how Caffeine Monitor displays ‘Audience Caffeination’ and the number of lethal caffeine doses consumed collectively. However, finding out that each attendee consumed a mere 1.91 drinks at the time of writing seems weaker than a watered-down chai latte. Being Ireland, I can only assume they’re drinking something else between the caffè Americanos.

So if you’re at Build, give @feltron and @freerange a pat on the back for being good sports. Either way, check out Caffeine Monitor. It really is a sight for sore (and sleepless) eyes.

Building a beautiful web

Getting involved with Build was a no-brainer for us, given that it’s boutique design conference in Belfast with a higher concentration of talent than Guinness has barley. In its second year running, it’s pulled in some of the big names like Tim Van Damme and Frank Chimero to present, alongside a range of sideshows including a typography exhibition, lectures and a good old-fashioned pub quiz. Be part of it by following @buildconf on Twitter.

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