While a lot of the early Internet of Things chatter brought us things like internet-connected lightbulbs, plugs and many other household items, Isitbump.in wants to use a network of little connected boxes to save you time in your local shops.

Pittsburgh-based engineer Matthew Pegula came up for the idea of Isitbump.in after being stuck in a queue at his local grocery store one too many times, which left him wondering if there was a way to show how busy the shop was before he left the house.

The result is a small box with sensors to measure how busy a particular location is; the Bumpbox then feeds this data back to the Isitbump.in Web platform where users can see how busy a shop, bar or any other location is via the sensors.

BumpBox 730x392 Isitbump.in could show you how busy your favorite stores and bars are before you leave the house

There’s only one location live right now – a coffee shop in Pittsburgh – but Pegula says that the team is now “cranking these things out and looking to get a ton of them out there”.

No one likes queuing, or arranging to meet friends at a specific bar only to find it’s completely dead, so we’re pleased to see a simple Internet of Things idea that can actually save us some time and make life more efficient. Nonetheless, there could be resistance from retailers. We suspect that customers queueing out the door is a preferable situation to no one coming in as it seems too busy. Of course, for bars, looking busy would likely be a bonus; we’ll be interested to see what uptake is like for this idea.

➤ Isitbump.in