Get Ready For Twitter to Start Animating Machines
Big Ben has been steadily keeping time in London with its distinctive “bong” for over 150 years. But unless you were in the famous clock’s proximity, you most likely remained unaware. That is, until late last year, when Big Ben joined and now keeps time virtually for nearly 50,000 people through Twitter’s API.
While we can all have a bit of a laugh at Big Ben’s presence on Twitter, our newfound ability to communicate with what were previously inanimate objects is no joke. Advances in a host of technologies like radio frequency identification (RFID), near field communications (NFC), electronic product codes (EPC) and, most importantly, Twitter and its API are enabling an array of smart interactions and connections between objects and people.
Not too long ago, unless you knew how to write code, the primary way that we communicated with objects was decidedly one way — beep — a simple signal for us to pay attention. AOL ingeniously took a step to humanize the beep in the ’90s by alerting us to an incoming e-mail with a chipper “You’ve Got Mail.” But since then we haven’t made much progress.