The Internet is slowly creeping into every part of our lives, so much so that it’s becoming easier to look around the house and find objects that can be connected to the Internet. In just a few short years, we probably won’t think twice about connecting most of these objects to the Internet, but others will likely take some more time to get used to.
Through some student/university collaboration, MIT connected the bathrooms at its Random Hall dormitory to provide an online resource so residents know which bathrooms are available when.
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2. College dorm laundry room
Perhaps motivated by the success of its bathroom server, Random Hall also connected its laundry room so residents can check to see when washer and dryer machines are available. Students can enter their email addresses to get regular updates, too.
On the other side of the country, the University of Southern California connected an outdoor garden. When the “telegarden” was moved to Austria a year later, the researchers equipped the garden with a robotic arm and an Internet connection, allowing gardeners to plant seeds from anywhere in the world.
4. Dog collar
With dogs’ well-being in mind, advertising agency Rethink Toronto equipped a dog collar with a thermistor to monitor a dog’s temperature, along with a coded chip and a SIM card that alerts owners via SMS message if its temperature exceeds 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Cat feeder
Another project aims to help cat owners who travel frequently and can’t always find a friend with the time to come by and feed their cats. This Internet-enabled cat feeder dispenses food into two dishes simultaneously upon the owner’s request, and monitors the entire process via webcam.
Dutch startup Sparked has been implanting wireless Internet-connected sensors in the ears of cattle, helping farmers monitor their health and prevent spreading disease from contaminated meat or milk. Cisco estimates that each cow transmits 200MB of data each year.
7. Human heart
Corventis' heart monitor, which can be applied to patient’s chest like a Band Aid to monitor and report heart activity, was approved by the FDA and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare in 2010. The data can alert authorities if the patient has had a cardiac episode or has simply fallen down as a result of an arrhythmia.