Automated Life Decisions: Lunch Edition

Everyday, lunch time inevitably hits the clock and we’re faced with deciding where to go for food. It’s 2014, and that means we are granted the luxury of choices in plenitude. As we try to balance this mundane task with work stress and actually important decisions, luxury morphs into a curse. Having too many options can be overwhelming–even science agrees. No one wants to miss out on trying new foods and great restaurants, but lunch is not something you should sweat.

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Ryan Lane, a Senior User Experience Developer at Wire Stone in Seattle, waved goodbye to the so-called noon dilemma after discovering Temboo. Thanks to our Foursquare Choreos, he rid himself from the aforementioned headaches with an “automated life choice” machine that prints out a receipt with the name of a restaurant, the rating, and the address, telling him where to eat everyday. This little piece of paper includes all of the details necessary for him to scarf down a delicious meal.

For his project, Lane used an Arduino Yún, a tactile mobile switch, a cardboard box, and a thermal printer from Adafruit. “Since so much of what I make is digital, it’s nice to have some tangible things every now and then,” Lane said. “Once I started putting them together I came across the Temboo service and was very impressed with all of the capabilities of the service… I started digging around with the Foursquare libraries that are part of Temboo and discovered that it had everything I needed to get a list of local places.”

Lane used our Arduino library and the Adafruit Thermal printer library, as well as the Foursquare Explore Venue Choreo. What was most impressive for Lane, a first-time Temboo user, was “how quickly it took to go from parts, idea, to functional box. All in all it took maybe 3 hours. Most of that was just playing around, too.”

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Lane is “thinking about adding a GPS so that way [the box] can dynamically assign the location and suggest locations from wherever the box is.”

Our users tackle a range of mundane and high-profile obstacles through their projects. If you’re working on anything awesome, shoot us an email to, and you may be our next featured project!