Among the first kits to help DIYers get their appliances tweeting was the Tweet-a-watt. The $90 open source hardware kit from Adafruit Industries let users post the daily energy consumption of their refrigerator or TV set to a Twitter account. The Tweet-a-watt also lets receivers log and graph the power consumption information.
“We feel there is a social imperative and joy in publishing one’s own daily KWH (kilowatts per hour),” says the company on its blog. “By sharing these numbers on a service like Twitter, users can compete for the lowest numbers and also see how they’re doing compared to their friends and followers.”
But to go beyond that, DIYers have devised their own homebrew solution. And driving their interest are modules available for hobbyists from companies such as Adafruit and ioBridge.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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