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The story behind: Touchless Check-in

The other day our product owner Tobias Liljedahl came to me and he was all excited because he had just had this great workshop with one of our customers in the automotive sector. They’re mobilizing for the back to work effort. 


“We need to talk, Tomas. The workshop yielded a ton of good ideas we need to explore - Now!”

Tobias Liljedahl, CPO Humly


I briefly thought about already groomed and planned sprints, resources, promised delivery dates and so on but decided not to say anything. Not all creativity should not be bothered by such details and I have been known to sometimes pull an all-nighter to get a cool feature into the next release if needed..

Going through the list of ideas from the workshop, there were a lot of questions; is it feasible? Is there any solution already solving this pain? Is it technically possible to connect this system to that system, what is the effort to do it and so on. 

One of the ideas that stood out to me was the touchless check-in. Why did we not do that before?!?!?

Today we have the a feature available to require a user to check-in at the booked room prior to the meeting. If no one claims the meeting room it can be released for others to use and save our customers time and money. But it requires at least one touch on the screen. Something that not everyone is comfortable doing during these times. 

The new brilliant idea was to swipe any NFC/RFID tag over the Humly logo of the room display where we have a  NFC/RFID reader.

We normally use NFC/RFID functionality to authenticate a specific user but in this case it would be enough just to let any tag or card initiate the check-in - so simple!

The idea stuck in my head and I just had to test it so between two customer meetings I got the first prototype working. I showed it to my colleagues and more ideas started to come in and at the end of the day a new feature saw the light of day.

Fun facts about touchless check-in:

  • The code to achieve this is less than 50 lines.
  • I’ve sneaked the Jira task into the sprint, luckily our scrummaster has not noticed yet. 
  • The touchless check-in works with the gym card, the tag for the office, some random writable tags of eBay, my commuter card and contactless credit-/debit cards* etc.
    (*we won’t debit anything).