IBM inventor’s home tweet home

9 Sep 2009

There are smart homes and then there are twittering smart homes. IBM engineer and inventor Dr Andy Stanford-Clarke has hooked up his thatched cottage to Twitter, allowing it to tweet when it has something newsworthy to tell him.

Addressing a curious audience yesterday at the British Science Association’s Festival of Science, Stanford-Clarke talked about “The house that twitters”.

How does a twittering cottage work? Well, Stanford-Clarke already has his Isle of Wight cottage kitted out with sensors and timers that let him regulate energy usage as well as detecting when the phone rings or even when a mouse is caught in a trap.

Essentially, any action or movement that can be measured is measured, and the next step was to bring this data out of the house and to him, so Stanford-Clarke chose Twitter ( as the channel for connecting his “internet of things”.

An example of the things the cottage tweets about: if a door or window is left open, the cottage will tweet this out to its followers. Each time the house uses 100 litres of water, it will also tweet to let Stanford-Clarke know about it.

“Any device in the house can send a message to Twitter about what it is doing. It feels the heartbeat of the house. If you are trying to monitor your energy costs or security, it is a very useful tool,” said Stanford-Clarke.

Photo: Dr Andy Stanford-Clarke and his cottage, connected to Twitter.

Image via

By Marie Boran, via