Tweeting Toasters? The Next Step In Kitchen Tech for 2012

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Hans Scharler
There's no question that if left unattended, our kitchen appliances can develop minds of their own, but tweeting toasters? What the hell?

This is a prediction from a report released last month by Massachusetts-based marketing research firm International Data Corporation.

IDC predicts that 2012 will see the arrival of microblogging by things, allowing people to follow the status of a device.

"We predict that in the next 18 months, we will see acceleration in the use of microblogging technology...for people to follow the 'state' of things that are relevant to them," says Frank Genz, author of the report. "This could include a Twitter-like feed to 'follow' the status of a connected appliance in your house to see if it's operating correctly or if it needs service."

In addition, Genz says the reverse is possible--that the device can follow you. Whoa, now that's creepy.

This could be really handy, actually. Recall the coffee faucet brewer powered by your iPhone. Imagine if it was connected to your home WiFi network and that during one of its brew cycles, it suddenly ran out of milk or coffee--it could send you a tweet reminding you to make a quick stop at the grocery store on your way home.

Or maybe your oven sends a tweet reminding that you left it on. And you tweet back to turn it off remotely?

The report's authors expect some of the heavy hitters in the computer industry--specifically Cisco, IBM and Hewlett-Packard--to start developing the technology for commercial use.

The technology isn't new, but the way it could be applied is novel. And it's not limited to kitchen appliances, but any household device--even toilets.

In fact, there are already amateur set-ups of tweeting toasters and toilets out there in the Twitterverse. This reminds us of the good ole Trojan Room coffee pot webcam--the inspiration for the first webcam, which eventually found its way to Twitter.

Wired magazine even put out a how-to wiki on building your own tweeting gadgets. If you are a techie, a foodie and a DIY'er, this wiki's for you. And if you go as far as to make a robot that cooks gourmet meals on live TV, please build us one too!

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