Just ran across a cool Kickstarter, called Twine, that allows non-programmers the ability to connect sensors and other input devices directly to their computer / internet, and then they can use a verbal interface “program” the behavior. Think of it like a Siri for sensor programming - or if you haven’t seen the pure-web version of IFTTT (that stands for “If this, then this”), it’s similarly cool.
Internally it has a temperature sensor and accelerometer, and externally they’ve got magnetic switches (think: door alarm), moisture sensors, and the obligatory breakout board.
The image they give on Kickstarter isn’t very inspiring… Looks more like fancy soap in the picture, but if you watch the video you can tell it’s more than a hunk of green plastic. I’ll give them a partial pass though, because their web interface, called “Spool” (cute) is a lot snazzier and straight forward to use.
I really like the concept and think it’s moving in the right direction. I have to say though - the sensor choice is a bit underwhelming. Seems more like a weather measuring device than an easy link to the internet. What am I going to say? “When temperature goes below 65 - Tweet: ‘Getting a little chilly in here’” Or maybe the accelerometer can be used to detect if the user is pounding on their desk? I don’t get what they’re thinking with these choices.
I have no idea of their future intentions, but I think it’s safe to say that the future will see many interfaces like Twine, Siri, and IFTTT that let non-coders write their own scripts - without even knowing it. I’m excited to see where this goes, and hope that they put their funding to good use in getting this shipped.