Image via Screengrab on Mobile Inc
We're starting to see it all - tweeting energy use, tweeting toilet flushes, tweeting when plants need water... And now tweeting when your tea kettle is ready? While I file this in "Just What We Needed" as a superfluous object that doesn't serve a useful purpose, I have to admit there's a part of me that really likes the idea. Not because I want to tweet my kettle boiling stats, but because of why the inventor came up with the idea at all. Check out what they have to say about hard-wiring our hardware to our "life stream." Gizmodo writes, "Designed by Ben Perman and Murat Multu, it also records details on how many times it boils each week, and just how much water you've boiled up."
That brings us to a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, it's actually pretty neat that you could keep track so easily of how many times you're using your kettle to boil water, and how much water you're boiling. Those are some handy stats to have if you're looking to cut down on both energy and water use.
But on the other hand, how much extra energy would this use in order to send the tweet? You'd have to cut down on how much you use it just to counter the energy use.
Happily, this conundrum is not one to worry about, since this isn't a real product. Thank goodness. But the designer is looking for $500,000 from investors to bring the $115 kettles to market. If you are sadly disappointed right now, then maybe you could simply hack your existing kettle yourself. (I sense an addition to the Maker Shed store.)
Still, the thinking that lead to the invention of the Twettle Project is interesting. The creator writes:
One of my strongest predictions for the near future is that we'll start using devices and services that automatically contribute to our 'life stream' more and more. Whether it's updating your Foursquare account whenever you use your Oyster Card or the TV remote that updates Twitter to tell followers what you're watching - it's clear that we're going to need help constantly telling others what we're doing.
But how could we jump on this bandwagon? I started to like the sound of Twittering hardware, if we could cheaply and effectively produce the tech that enabled any manufacturers device to seamlessly 'talk' to open APIs (i.e Twitter, Facebook and more) then we would be onto something.
Just how much of our hardware will be hardwired to our lives? And just how much green good might that be able to do should it bring awareness to our habits?
That's a gigantic can of worms, especially when it comes to issues of privacy. But we've already started to see it happen with people twittering their energy use.
The Twettle certainly gives us something to chew on...
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More on Twitter and Greenies
Twittering Your Toilet Flushes for Fun or Efficiency
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Greener Gadgets 2009: Audience Picks Tweet-a-Watt as the Design Competition Winner!