Twitter is good for useful things like telling us when fresh baked goods are available as well as not so useful things like the toilet tweets. In the vein of toilet tweets but infinitely more useful, Hack N Mod has gathered up projects that use Twitter to control the electronics in your home.
At Unplggd we love to learn about ways to make old tech do new things and these projects from Hack N Mod provide some great ways to extend the usefulness of Twitter. Some of these projects, like the talking plant project, use Twitter to provide updates letting you know when the plants need to be watered, other hacks actually use Twitter to control the electronics in your home. These hacks use Twitter to interact with physical hardware which allows the devices to be controlled via Twitter updates.
Plants that tell you when they need to be watered via Twitter by using the Botanicalls kit. This device updates your Twitter account whenever your plants are low on water. The kits do not come assembled, and like most of these hacks require a little mechanical experience and comfort with soldering. We think that this device would be a great help in keeping our plants alive as all to often they die due to not getting the right amount of water.
Automate your home using Bob Paauwe's iLink INSTEON software and Twitter. Justin Wickett used iLink and Twitter to network his cell phone with his home's electrical system and has published this how to guide to show you how to do the same. This hack enables you to set up your laptop and connect it to your light switches (or any other electrical device) and control the device by sending text messages to your Twitter account. This is of course just the tip of the home automation via Twitter iceberg and we are eager to see even more hacks in this vein.
Twitter Burglar Alarm courtesy of Kelvin's Thunderstorm, uses a burglar alarm connected to an Arduino board and Xbee USB module to send an SMS to his phone and update a private Twitter account whenever an intruder is detected in his home. We think the Twitter updates coupled with the SMS alerts are a great way to keep tabs on home security while you are away.
Twitter Controlled Popcorn Maker created by Dave Britt and Justin Goeres uses a Lego Mindstorms driven by Labview software connected to a Twitter account to make popcorn. The program detects #popcorn tweets via the web before triggering a belt, turning an Archimedes screw that moves the kernel from hopper to popper.