Youngest Twitterer EVAR?

Ed. Note: Boing Boing's current guestblogger Clay Shirky is the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. He teaches at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where he works on the overlap of social and technological networks.

Corey Menscher, an ITP student, has designed a kick sensor which monitors his pregnant wife's belly, and generates a fetal tweet whenever the baby kicks.


Update: Corey explains the technical details of the project in this comment, with more details here.

KickBee on Twitter


  1. Great idea, but me thinks that it might need to be calibrated:

    “Wow I’m being very active! I kicked Mommy 1766 times at 11:59AM on Thu, Dec 11!”

  2. Can this be the official coining of the term “twitrist” despite how much it sounds like “titty twist”?

  3. Anyone got implementation details? The Maker Shed botanicalls kit will post to twitter whenever your plant needs to be watered, but its not wireless. Is this one of those things where its easy as long as you have $1000 and a research partnership with a mobile phone company?

    Perhaps is a bluetooth device that talks to Windows Mobile which generates SMS messages?

  4. Can this be the official coining of the term “twitrist” despite how much it sounds like “titty twist”?

    ..and yet, to my continual amazement (and lack of maturity) we still say ‘pianist’.

  5. Kickbee Maker here…

    To answer some technical questions, there are currently two piezo sensors and an analog circuit detecting low frequency vibrations and sent to an Arduino Mini. The Arduino uses a SparkFun BlueSMIRF v2 module to talk to my Java app serially over Bluetooth. The Java app analyzes the sensor readings and decides when to update Twitter. There’s also a button that toggles a “standby” mode on and off so that the device won’t post to Twitter until it’s been put on and adjusted properly. It’s all powered by a 9v battery. I added some photos of the device to the link on the Twitter page.

    Thanks for your interest! I’m still tweaking the electronics and writing code…plus I need to make it look a bit more friendly. So please excuse the obvious test posts.

    If you’re in NYC, I strongly urge you to check it (and the other great projects) at the NYU ITP Winter Show Dec. 17 & 18!

  6. I just launched a little service this week called Tweetlet that sends you messages from your baby during pregnancy. You get messages like:

    “Hi dad, I just opened my eyes for the first time!”

  7. Clay Shirky,
    I have now joined Facebook upon the information in the essay you posted earlier, but I don’t think I can bring myself to Twitter. At any rate, today I saw an ancient and everdear friend of mine from high school do a standup comedy routine with a facebook link. We haven’t talked in 15 years, but today I definitely felt the connection. Up with all them good social networking sites, maybe I will start to twitter after all.

  8. Knifie Sp00nie, you are almost as disgusting as you are funny.

    There are a lot of good uses for this tool. What a great therapeutic tool to conquer boner shame.

  9. What about hiccups? Does the Java app analyze the piezo sensors to distinguish the impulse’s regularity and intensity? The hiccups of my unborn are strong and regular (several times a day for about 5-10 minutes each time) while her ‘kicks’ are not really kicks, instead, only her stretching her legs.

  10. My partner and I have a similar system set up. Whenever she feels a kick from the baby, she kicks me! It’s great!

  11. … Hannes form I TAKE THE PISS – ITTP here! I too believe Twitter is a great service to mankind. But my 7 months old son does not seem to share my enthusiasm.

    Instead, nonconformist as he is, he takes the piss.

    … at least we have a great tool for monitoring him.

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