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Insert Coin: Twine connects your whole world to the internet

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In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

Wouldn't it be great if your laundry emailed you when it had finished? You got a tweet every time the room got too cold, or your basement sent you a text if it began to flood? "Easy," says the Arduino expert in the peanut gallery, but what about those with neither the time nor inclination to solder and program it from scratch? Fortunately, the gentlemen who founded Supermechanical feel our pain and have just the tonic for our maladies -- head on past the break to find out more.



Twine is a 2.5-inch square box with a WiFi module, thermometer and accelerometer -- stick in two AAA batteries and it should last for "months." To get started after taking one home, introduce it to your network and fire up Spool, the web app that controls the units. Spool is a rules-based interface that's completely customizable: if, for example, Twine is set to sense the vibration of my fists banging on my desk, it could send an SMS to the nearest intern telling them to bring me a coffee.


It's not just vibrations and temperature that the device can monitor -- the company already has working prototypes of magnetic switches and moisture sensors and it'll play nice with any button that connects via mini USB. For those who want to demonstrate their programming skills, there's an attachable breakout board and Spool can create HTTP requests, so all of your friends will know how hardcore you are.


Currently the project has $15,000 of its $35,000 goal, which if reached, will enable Supermechanical to buy tooling and materials to begin mass production. A pledge of $100 will earn you a Twine box when it ships early next year whilst paying $25 extra will get you either a magnetic switch or moisture sensor (oh, and free batteries, isn't that sweet?) If you're not convinced, check out the video below and when it's talked you round, head on down to the source link to donate your cash.


Previous project update: Ultra-cheap 3D printing startup SeeMeCNC H-1 has raised an amazing $7,945 and considering it only needed $2,500 to begin with, it seems clear you guys really do love your 3D printers.

[Thanks, Tom]

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