An odd way to draw attention to your next movement
Mike Newell: It seems everyone is finding things to twitter about these days. politicians, celebrities, and marketing firms to name a few… Despite the recent popularity of twitter, the masses seem to be missing a trend which I find very interesting. Twitterizing common household objects! In recent months people have come up with some very creative ideas for turning the most mundane household accessories into high tech Internet updating devices. There’s a toaster that updates twitter, a chair that monitors farts, and plenty of other examples of twitterage and geekery. I thought to myself, why not present a part of our lives that most of us are utterly repulsed by? Why not find something the hoi palloi find generally disgusting and add it to the interweb? (Pics)
Here it goes: my bathroom habits via a toilet that twitters! Not too original considering how easy it is to make mechanical objects twitter, but nonetheless a fun experiment in simple hardware/software implementation! The design for this project I stole (with permission) from Hans Scharler, the evil mad genius who created the world’s first twittering toaster.
- I started by purchasing a iobridge, a 1k pull up resistor, some wire, two alligator clips and a simple spring switch (you’ll also need an Ethernet cord and and Internet connection!).
- I bend the resistor and loop it through the +5v and digital input connectors on the iobridge in channel 1.
- Then I take a piece of wire and put it through the ground connector on the iobridge in channel 1.
- Connect the alligator clips, one to the grounded piece of wire, the other to the resistor.
- Attach the ground alligator clip to the ground connector on the switch, then do the same for +5v/digital input alligator clip and connect it to the down position connector on the switch.
- I insert the Ethernet cord and go to the iobridge website to set up my hardware. It’s fairly simple just create a login and follow the instructions to get your iobridge connected.
- Create a twitter account for your toilet, and a twitter mail account from twittermail.com.
- Set twittermail to receive and post “only the body” of the message when it receives mail.
- Login to iobridge, and click on the “modules” tab. Set channel 1 ”channel messaging mode” to “send message on digital state change” and then set “auto message period” to 10 seconds.
- Create an “action” under the actions tab on the iobridge website to send a message to your twittermail account every time your toilet is flushed. Simply input your twittermail account to send to and a customized message!
- Test your switch and watch it update twitter! In no time I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful albeit strange group of followers on your toilet’s twitter account!
Inputs for the Twittering Toilet
I also worked with the twitter API to count the number of flushes my toilet has made and calculate my water usage and average flushes per day, then automatically post the results on twitter as well…but that’s a whole other lesson! Twitter does make it fairly easy to work their API in PHP if you’re interested!
Link to Mike’s Toilet on Twitter