Twitter joined the internet of things with a recently developed tweet-enabled cuckoo clock. But it’s part of something bigger: letting objects interact with social data. In this case the clock, called #Flock, responds to incoming tweets, @-messages, and retweets by animating small wooden puppets.
The clock was created with London-based technology consultancy Berg, they also worked with Google to connect their services to a smart lamp. The toolkit that drives Flock is designed to make it easier for consumer-tech companies to prototype similar connected objects and experiment with new user experiences. The Berg Cloud dev kit includes two small circuitboards and microcontrollers with access to a set of Web APIs, allowing the microcontroller to send and receive data from Internet applications. Bridge, another device in the kit, provides wireless connectivity and a mobile user interface called Remote that can access, manage, and control the system via iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone.
What’s interesting to me is that the internet of things is increasingly coming to us through “plug and play” solutions. These simple solutions (from a end-user perspective) to the technical problems involved in connecting physical objects and products to the Internet are crucial in getting the internet of things out of labs and expert environments and into the consumer market.