A few years ago I noticed that a couple of different tools and services I was using at the time were offering the option to tweet when I engaged with them somehow. I was interested to try it out but I didn't want to clutter up my human-authored Twitter feed with a bunch of software-authored stuff that I couldn't necessarily control the timing or content of.
So, I created the @JCHThings Twitter account, and it's been a steady stream of activity from the Internet-connected devices and tools in my life ever since.
I've always enjoyed hooking together pieces of technology in new and interesting ways.
When I was a kid I rigged up a small water pump to a series of pulleys, rope and switches to squirt water at anyone (read: my younger sister) who opened my bedroom door without using a special trick to disable it first.
In junior high school I may or may not have programmed my 1200 baud modem at home to make a certain classroom's phone ring during a certain class I didn't mind having interrupted.
In my first apartment after college, I had motion sensors rigged up to turn on lights in rooms I walked into, and turn them off again when motion stopped.
I like figuring out how to make real world things talk to each other. Which is why it seems I was destined to live in the emerging "programmable world," this Internet of Things that has developed and flourished in recent years.
I thought I'd share some of the different things I've rigged up to talk to each other in my programmable world. Some of these have practical uses, many of them are just for fun. Some of them are products you can buy yourself, some are tools I've created or enhanced with my own software.
Oh, and you should consider consulting with your spouse, partner or housemates before deploying these technologies in a production living space.