It’s happened again. You head out for summer vacation without turning on your out-of-office notification… or the very second you walked out the door for lunch is the same moment your boss drops by with an urgent question about that big presentation you’re putting together… or you ran into the break room to grab a cup of coffee just as a colleague dropped by to invite you out for Friday night happy hour.

While email, social media and smartphones have made it easy to communicate where we are at any given point in time, there’s still one big catch. We actually have to communicate, whether by email, post, text or phone call. But what if there was a device smart enough to automatically sense our whereabouts and then alert others to them?

Sounds like you need a Place Lamp. It functions as a regular desk lamp, but also syncs up with a GPS-enabled smartphone to change color and brightness based on your current location. The lamp connects to your office’s WiFi network, while a corresponding app allows you to set up digital geofences around it.

Traveling outside the country? A blue glow can let others know. Still in the office, but just stepped away to grab a leftover donut from the conference room? Let an orange hue tell cube-mates you’re in the building and will be back to the grind ASAP. And for those mad mornings when you happen to be running late? The lamp’s increasing brightness can indicate when you’re nearing the office and spare you from having to dash off a desperate email while racing down the block.

Because Place Lamp’s hardware is open source, you can make it do other unique things too, like keep you informed! It can “wink” when your sweetie shoots you a text or turn red when an urgent email pops up in your inbox. Hospitals, the deaf community and parents who want to keep track of their children’s whereabouts could also make great use of Place Lamp, customizing its features to suit their needs.

Sound like something that would help streamline your own busy life? Created by designer Samuel Stubblefield, the invention is still a prototype, but given its attractive design and amazing versatility, we can only hope we see these innovative smart lamps in a cubicle near us very soon.

Would you use Place Lamp? Let us know what you think below!

(h/t Fast Company, Pixelonomics)