Also from New Scientist:

IF AN email message were a physical object, what would it be? For Ted Hayes, a freelance designer based in New York, it’s a soap bubble.

He decided to connect his inbox to a toy soap-bubble gun using cheap and simple electronics. Hayes had little technical skill at the time, yet he got the contraption to work, spreading bubbles each time he received an email. He says he was pleased that “a normally frivolous and cheap plastic object could become interconnected with the world”.

Hayes represents a growing movement of tinkerers who are merging the online and physical worlds in surprising ways. Instead of waiting for technology companies like Cisco or Apple to make their gadgets, these “makers” are buying off-the-shelf computer chips, sensors and wireless radios, and doing it themselves.

So if email can cause a bubble machine to sprout out bubbles, what else could it do?  Perhaps make tea, or turn on the TV, or perhaps something more sinister.

What do you think an inventor could come up with that would change the world?  Leave your answer in the comments!

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