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Ivan's picture

Transwitter - make status updates fun again

I have an idea for a product (or rather a group of products) that I want to share with you.

It's a gadget that is linked with Twitter (or any other status update web application like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). It's objective is to make status updates easier, more fun and more integrated with the off-line events of people's lives. It is mostly a gimmick, but with potential for serious applications. The number of different uses are unlimited.

The idea is that people attach a so called twitter transmitter (transwitter) to any real life object. For example a coffee mug. When you lift the mug the transwitter sends a message to your twitter account: "Taking my morning dose of caffeine!"

See the chart above of a few example transwitters, such as:

  • Toothbrush clip-on transwitter: "#transwit I just brushed for [XX] seconds"
  • Coffee mug or any other object stick-on transwitter: "#transwit Taking a sip of coffee"
  • Vehicle transwitter: "#transwit Driving in Phoenix, Arizona"
  • Multibutton keychain transwitter: "#transwit I've walked the dog" or "#transwit Had a great workout"
  • Branded keychains: "#transwit #starbucks I'm at Starbucks, enjoying free WiFi"

What do you think?

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

sakibafridi's picture
2 pencils

I think it's definitely a clever application but isn't part of the idea of tweeting making the tweets interesting? Would anyone really care that someone else is brushing their teeth.
I think it works great as tagging in coffee shops and restaurants and that might be a cool place to have it, even as a tie-in to, say, Starbucks. So everytime you walked into starbucks, twitter updates your status saying you just walked in to Starbucks get a dose of caffiene. If anything else, I can see the branding aspect of it from a commercial perspective.
From purely a social networking perspective, as long as the tweets are interesting and not mundane, I think could be pretty cool.

JimD's picture
2626 pencils


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fxdiva's picture
3 pencils

I think it would be cool. But I agree with the comment above, the tweets have to be interesting. Also, if the device posts a tweet everytime you lift the coffee cup or move the toothbrush that could get annoying. The device should be able to start an action (drinking, brushing teeth) and then "move with the person - ie if you move around your office or home while you drink coffee ( I step outside in the summer months to see the wildlife). You get the idea. A voice module might help here - speech to text? My 2 cents. I'm new to this blog.

steveballmer's picture
653 pencils

You people really need to get lives!

Just a suggestion
I am not Steve Ballmer pretending not to be me!

Omer's picture
2 pencils

Brilliant. In the future, hopefully not all our twits will make it to our public or home page of our updates. But rather the data stream over time can be picked up by a machine or program to bring meaning to it in a context that would make sense.

Ivan's picture

Yes, with the right tags the information would be channeled correctly to the right context.

JimD's picture
2626 pencils

I find it incredibly annoying when someone I follow floods their Twitterstream with nothing but automated Tweets about their latest blog article - so something that automatically tells me when you flushed the toilet or poured a new cup of coffee would be twice as bad!

But the *idea* is pretty cool - just needs a useful way to implement it.

Visit The Graphic Mac for graphics and Mac OS tips, reviews, tutorials and discussion.

Ivan's picture also displays feeds from cb. I agree toilet flushing would be silly, coffee status as well. But some other things could be fun or useful. Really depends on the person.

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

mildly amused.

Terrell Thornhill

e-zign Design Group

bartkarmen's picture
1 pencil


Ivan's picture

I know it's related to some mathematical stuff, but don't feel like looking it up.

stephanie's picture
518 pencils

I personally dislike seeing updates on Facebook and such when people say things like "I just woke up", "I'm bored at work". I mean, who honestly cares? I think that's probably why Twitter annoys me so much. Feels like for every useful update there are 100 lame ones you read through to get to it.

I think there's a point where people need to just shut up. Just because it's online, doesn't mean everyone in the world cares about everything you're doing.


I promise I'm not having a bad day. :)

Ivan's picture

But there is clearly a need for this kind of communication between certain group of people.

Anonymous's picture
141 pencils

I think you should trademark it (seriously).

However, I'm not a fan of twittering at all. To me it is trivial and so virtual as to be pseudo. The experience leaves me cold. I prefer a thoughtful discussion in front of a roaring fire, or a considered opinion and the subsequent responses from an intelligent forum.

Write a wise saying and your name will live forever – Anonymous.

KellyR's picture
525 pencils

Next all we'll need to do is install bluetooth microchips into everyone that will announce their every move... the government and advertising agencies will be especially interested. Nothing will ever be private again.

Kelly just had sex. Kelly is now going to the bathroom. Kelly is using Charmin toilet paper (click for special coupons!). Kelly is standing on the scale cursing. Kelly is going to take a shower. Kelly is going back to bed. Kelly is sleeping. Kelly just woke up for no apparent reason. Kelly is sleeping. Kelly woke up. Kelly is taking a piss. Kelly is taking a shower using Irish Spring soap (coupons!!!!!). Kelly is getting dressed wearing Levis Blue Jeans (click for special coupons!!) Kelly is preparing some Kashi GoLean for breakfast (click here for special coupons!). Kelly finished eating breakfast. Kelly just.....

aaaaaaahhh!! i can see the insane route this could go. To think, I was annoyed when my grocery store stopped printing coupons and gave me the choice of either getting a club card so they can track everything I purchase or spending 30% more than everyone else on the same items.

stephanie's picture
518 pencils


Kelly just wrote an awesome post. :D

tylermoney's picture
6 pencils

I think it would do well, and some really interesting app for a device like that could be developed. I don't use twitter like that, but a lot of people do. It would really appeal to the younger Twitter audience I think. They would love to have a tweet sent while they're brushing their teeth... even flushing the toilet (think 12yr old boys). So, I wouldn't use it, but I think there is a market for it.

a2b2c2's picture
1 pencil

I like the idea :) it looks a bit like a project I did last year

Basically, it's a networked deodorant station that allows people to see when and for how long (seconds) you've applied deodorant...Bring on the pervasive technologies!

print wiz's picture
20 pencils

You really mean it, right? I guess, otherwise you wouldn't have spent your time illustrating this idea.
The idea is creative, but there would surely be a better use for such a gadget than sending status updates to Twitter.

Ivan's picture

I mean it. I would not use it, but some would. :)

khanyi's picture
2 pencils

u are one crazy guy,but i do give u credit lets go with the twitter it could be the thing of the moment

Alex's picture
397 pencils

Not exactly the same but this BBC news article caught my eye.

I think there could be tonnes of places where a small pad or device could be used to alert people of something useful.

Miley71's picture
1 pencil

Live life 2 the fullest!! U only get it once!!

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