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Old 11-26-12, 04:50 AM   #1
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Post Shake, rattle, and roll: How we got a washing machine to text when it's done

Ars editor Cyrus Farivar spent a lot of time doing laundry in pursuit of better understanding of how to use his Electric Imp (that green circuit board.)
Malcolm Knapp

Those of us who live and die by our gadgets continue to dream about the day that all the devices in our house will communicate in the ways we want them too. This, of course, is the promise of the "Internet of Things." Eventually all your gizmos'ranging from your coffee maker to your garage door'will be able to communicate with you, each other, and hopefully your remote management system of choice. The Internet of Things is a major goal in Silicon Valley right now, and one startup recently launched a hobbyist product to move things in the right direction.

The Electric Imp, for those not in the know, is a little SD card-sized Wi-Fi device that can be hooked up to various types of electronic sensors. It can then connect electronic devices or other real-world physical items to the Internet. For now, it remains very much in the hobbyist domain. But the Palo Alto company would eventually like all kinds of items'from mousetraps to light switches'to become 'imp-capable.'

The people behind the Electric Imp are at the forefront, and they have an alpha release devkit you can experiment with. We received one last month and considered hacking a coffee machine or even building a gumball machine that would dispense treats every time one of my articles got re-tweeted 100 times. But the coffee machine idea had been done and the gumballs seemed just a bit over the top. So a month agowe asked our readersfor some guidance on what to do with our Electric Imp device.

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