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Engineer Connects House To Twitter To Monitor Resource Usage

In what could be seen as an innovative way to assume eco-friendly lifestyle, a 43-year old computer engineer has wired up his house to the microblogging website Twitter to keep track of his household's water and electricity consumption.

Andy Stanford-Clark has fitted a network of sensors in every room of his thatched cottage on the Isle of Wight, Hants which sends info on activities in different rooms to his mobile handset via the microblogging website.

The network of sensors - which are connected to windows, electricity metres, mouse traps, water tank and outside lights - will send updates, such as “gym temperature is cold” or “bathroom heater turned on” to let his family make significant savings.

The system incorporates a computer chip that stores information received from these sensors and transmits radio signals to a central hub, which translates these signals into words with the help of some specialist software.

The engineer believes that he, along with his family, has already trimmed their energy expenses down by up to one-third, as the social networking site alerts them every time £10 is spent.

Mr. Stanford-Clark touted the use of Twitter in bringing energy consumption down by saying, “I get updates about what my friends and colleagues are doing, and what is going on in the house, it's all part of the general buzz of information. It's a showcase of how this could work on a big scale, and it's had lots of useful effects already”.

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Our Comments

The idea of using Twitter as a constant monitor is an intriguing and interesting idea. It could potentially pave the way for a whole generation of Twitter aware (or at least live monitoring) monitoring devices. It could also have a security application as well, sending texts for free to your mobile phone.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.