Why Tweeting Toasters May Change Your Life - NBC Chicago

Why Tweeting Toasters May Change Your Life

One toaster is able to tweet when toast is finished



    Why Tweeting Toasters May Change Your Life
    Hans Scarler, Twitter
    This toaster can tweet when its finished toasting.

    Social media isn't just for people anymore. Inanimate objects are taking to Twitter too -- and changing the way the people think about appliances.

    The account @mytoaster is an actual toaster that has over 2,000 followers and is on one simple mission: send a tweet notifying when it's "toasting" and another tweet when it's "done toasting"

    Its founder Hans Scharler launched the account in 2008 and is the co-founder of the brains behind the tweeting object, a device called an ioBridge module.

    The toaster has a switch that flips every time the appliance begins and finishes toasting. The switch is linked to an ioBridge module, which connects the toaster to the internet, giving it its tweeting capability, according to TIME magazine.

    Scharler has also used the technology in a pool control system and a wireless pet feeder that allows pet owners to refill a doggie bowl from their mobile devices.

    The tweeting toaster is part of a larger idea dubbed the "internet of things," or rather a world in which objects communicate with people (and vice versa) to improve the everyday routine.

    "Things" can include everything from a tweeting toaster, to a plant in need of water, to a washing machine that alerts when load is finished, as TIME magazine explains. This technology is what some believe the future could look like.

    In 2008 the number of "things" connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on earth, according to Cisco, and the growth isn't slowing down. The company predicts there will be 50 billion "things" connected by 2020.

    You can keep up with the count on Cisco's real-time Connections Counter that monitors how many people, things, data and processes are on the internet at any given moment.

    The era of the "Smart House" may not just be a Disney fantasy anymore.