It is not only smart phones and sleek tablets that are conquering our technology craving minds. Traditionally boring appliances like the fridge, the washer or the stove are also getting a boost from digital innovations. I wrote earlier this year about Samsung offering a fridge that goes online and can serve as an information hub – to check email, find a recipe, to tweet, or go on facebook.
Now, two grads from the prestigious MIT Media Lab are coming up with a gadget that can potentially change the way many other things work at our houses.
Twine is a small box, the size of a pack of gum or so, equipped with various sensors such as temperature, vibrations, moisture, etc. When the sensors detect a pre-programmed event, the box tweet a message. The main function of the box is to provide a way to communicate with appliances and send commands from a distance.
The creators of the Twine, David Carr and John Kestner, are leaving the specific applications to the consumer. Here are some potential applications according to Wired:
You can, for example, set the system to text you that the laundry is finished when the Twine on top of your dryer stops vibrating, or e-mail you that your basement has flooded if the moisture sensor on the Twine in your basement goes off. The possibilities seem endless. How about putting the magnetic switch on your refrigerator and having Twine tweet every time you go for a snack? Or how about an ammonia sensor that texts you that it’s time to change the cat litter?
Programming the little box is supposed to be very easy since formulating the conditions is done in plain English.
If you think that this is some sort of a prototype that will never leave the lab, you may be wrong. The box will be available in March 2012 and it will cost only $99.
Start thinking how you may use the Twine to improve your home.