Twine for Connecting the Unconnectable

If you haven’t yet come across it, you should check out one of the recent success stories from Kickstarter and start getting excited.

Want to hook up things to the Web? Maybe you want to get a tweet when your laundry’s done, or get an email when the basement floods while you’re on vacation.

Well you’ll soon be able to. Twine is a 2.5-inch box of magic, complete with Wi-Fi module, accelerometer, thermometer and an expansion connector for other sensors.  It allows you to internet enable physical objects and build networks of them all controlled with Spool, a browser based real-time web app.  Initial Twine units were designed to work with vibrations, temperatures, moisture and magnetic switches as the standard sensors on offer but due to the demand for the product current sensors, pressure sensors and an RFID reader will also be incorporated. Add to that a breakout board and there won’t be a lot it can’t detect. The output comes in the form of emails, SMS text messages, Tweets (of course!) and most exictingly a configurable HTTP request.

The Spool web app makes it simple to set up and monitor your Twines from a browser anywhere. You set rules to trigger messages — no programming needed. The rules are put together with a palette of available conditions and actions, and read like English: WHEN moisture sensor gets wet THEN tweet “The basement is flooding!” We’ll get you started with a bunch of rule sets, and you can share rules you create with other Twine owners.

Because the hardware and software are made for each other, setup is easy. There’s nothing to install — just point Twine to your WiFi network. Sensors are immediately recognized by the web app when you plug them in, and it reflects what the sensors see in real time, which makes understanding and testing your rules easy.

The guys behind it, Supermechanical, designed it to be user friendly, so you won’t need an electronics or networking degree (not that has ever stopped eHomeUpgrade readers) to get it up and running. Supermechanical reached their funding target and are now taking pre-orders on their site:  This has a very bright future indeed and we can’t wait to get our hands on one. We predict that it won’t be long before we see all manner of unexpected objects and websites tied together with Twine.


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Filed in: Home Controls, Home Networking Gear