By Ben Bowers
on 12.30.11
Photo by Twine

Twine looks like the aftermath of a booze-fueled sleepover in Vegas between a pack of Post-its and a bar of soap. Its inanimate and rather blunt form-factor, though, hides the Twine’s ambitious purpose. The device was devised by two MIT Media Lab grads, who wanted to create an easy way to bring various household objects online. What does that mean exactly? Well, imagine a world where your washer could text you once it was finished, or where your house could send you an email every time someone came and knocked on the door. These are the types of connected tasks the Twine is designed to make possible for more than just folks with Ph.Ds in electrical engineering.

The durable, 2.5″ square can be powered from two AAA batteries for months and features WiFi connectivity along with an integrated accelerometer (for tracking vibrations, impacts and motions) as well as an internal temperature sensor. Other additional sensors for monitoring moisture levels and a magnetic switch for trigger events like doors opening can also be added without any need for MacGyvering. A companion piece of web-based software known as Spool (get it?) can then be programmed by owners using some basic logic to customize their device to provide any number of alerts — like sending an embarrassing tweet every time the better half opens the freezer for ice cream.

This kind of functionality will certainly become a standard feature of home design and appliances in the future, but for now, Twine is the most promising product we’ve seen for adding sci-fi skills to the things you already own. Considering the project has already raised nearly $450k on Kickstarter (or well over 10x their initial funding goal), it seems like plenty of people out there are ready to make their cribs just as digitally savvy as them.

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