If I were to name two things that are talked about a lot online, it’s social media and the Internet of Things. They’re both awesome, of course, but an example of their combined power appeared online yesterday that fired one’s imagination.
Zach Seward, a Mashable contributor and social media editor at soon-to-be-launched mobile business publication Quartz (that’s a mouthful), has hooked up an Internet connected light bulb to various online inputs. The result - every time someone mentions the @quartznews on Twitter, the light burns a little brighter. Whenever China wins an Olympic medal (note Seward is from the US) or Facebook’s share price drops below $20 the light goes out.
Seward examples it all in a Tumblr post, “Now, when you interact with us, our newsroom is literally brightened”. What a lovely idea.
To achieve this, Seward connected the light bulb to a Belkin WeMo Switch – usually used to turn appliances on and off with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The switch’s control of the light is determined through a connection with a service called ifttt (if this, then that). ifttt monitors online sources to figure out when China has won a gold or someone has tweeted @quartznews, and then tells the light bulb what to do.
It’s not exactly living up to the potential promise of the Internet of Things, but it is pretty darn cool nonetheless.