Kuando BusyLight for Lync 2013

Kuando’s BusyLight has been a fan favorite in the Lync community for sometime. I rarely write about Lync products on this blog, but I find this product unique because it touches on the ability to extend the power of Lync’s presence into the physical world – using customer hardware – which can potentially increase productivity in the work environment.

For me, the ability to physically show my Lync Presence in the front of my office and not be disturbed when I was busy or on a conference call was enough of a carrot to give it a whirl. Kuando recently released updated software that integrates with Lync that supports Lync 2013. My experiences are below.

BusyLight Overview

If you are not familiar with the device, at a high level it is a USB light that displays the Presence in your Lync client and can also play different sounds based on events in Lync (e.g. when you receive a Lync call).

Colors. Out-of-the-box the default colors for the default Presence states in the Lync client map well to the BusyLight. Not all the Presence states map to a single solid color however. For example, the do-not-disturb state is a red icon with a horizontal white line through it in the Lync client. To accommodate this, Kuando has introduces a Purple for do not disturb, but you can customize it.

Sounds. The BusyLight can play several ringtones at a customized volume when a Lync call is received. At first I questioned the need for this, but in some shared office environments this could be very useful, not to mention for the visually impaired.

Here is a picture of the BusyLight mounted in the window at the front of my office.

BusyLight1a

* Note: the latest and greatest version is now black.  See the main product page for a screen shot.

What’s new in version 1.1.164?

  1. Support for the Lync 2013 Client
  2. Busylight now has Busy In a Call status. The default setting for Busy In a Call is a pulsing red.
    You can change it back to standard red via the system tray icon.
  3. Do Not Disturb is now purple (to distinguish it from Busy). You can change it back to
    standard red via the system tray icon.

There is a small software package that needs to be installed on your client machine that is a bridge between the Lync client and the BusyLight.

Tips

1] If your BusyLight ever gets into a state where it is not accurately reflecting your Lync state. Kuando is aware of this bug and it will be fixed in the next software release. This only happened to me twice, and here is how you can correct it:

  • Try the Reset Lamp action on the BusyLight tray application
  • If that doesn’t rectify it, just restart the BusyLight application

2] It works when you switch SIP identities on the fly.

3] The BusyLight FAQ contains some good information on system requirements and how to install if you are not an administrator.

Conclusions

The BusyLight is a good device to physically extend the power of Lync presence. I am already thinking of getting one for home and training my kids to respect that status light :-) .

I would pay extra for a WiFi model that would allow the presence device to easily be mounted anywhere (I had to use a USB extension cord to get it to my office door).

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