By connecting potted plants to the Internet, an organization called Natural Fuse establishes city-wide networks of plants that help offset carbon dioxide emissions. Comparing the system to a circuit breaker, Natural Fuse says the system harnesses the energy of the connected plants to help reduce the amount of power consumed by its users. It also waters the plants automatically.
A Spanish company called Via Inteligente has developed Wi-Fi-emitting pavement stones, dubbed iPavement. The goal is to literally pave the ground of city streets and sidewalks with Wi-Fi so no one is without Internet access.
21. New York City sewers
A campaign called Dontflush.me aims to install sensors in the New York City sewer system to avoid overflows, which are responsible for an estimated 27 billion gallons of raw sewage overflow into the New York Harbor each year.
Just a few months ago, scientists announced a successful experiment connecting the brains of two rats through the Internet, The Guardian reports. The rats were tested in labs thousands of miles apart but still collaborated on tasks, like finding and drinking water.
23. Parking meters
Solving a problem felt by many residents, San Francisco connected its parking meters so drivers can find open parking spots without driving around the same block several times.
Essentially turning a mirror into a giant reflective tablet, the Cybertecture Mirror overlays application interfaces on a reflective mirror and comes with a peripheral sensor pad that registers, records and displays personal health data over time.
Several children’s toys connect to the Internet, but don’t be surprised to see Internet-connected toys on your boss’ desks. A company called reaDIYmate has designed interactive paper used to build toys that can be programmed to react to emails or social networking updates or controlled remotely with a smartphone.