(That’s Pinoccio without the “h”, for reasons that remain unclear. The reference to the little wooden boy does appear to be intentional, perhaps because it helps your otherwise inanimate objects acquire a life of their own). Anyway, never mind what it’s called. Just what is this wonky little circuit board we’re looking at? It’s a microcontroller – think of it as a device that connects your things to the internet. It joins Arduino, Ninja Blocks, and a host of other consumer-grade, programmable mini-computers now available. You can control your lights, your security system or anything else you can think of, based on input from attached sensors. Or remote-control any system you like directly from your web browser.
The reason this particular one jumps out at me is the stated intentions of its designers: “To glue the physical and the virtual together.” Most of these types of devices are marketed according to their practical applications. But here, the creators are deliberately invoking abstract dimensions, which is the sort of metaphorical language I prefer.
After all, controlling your house remotely is cool and all… but the potential power of the Internet of Things goes far beyond that, impacting our very relationship with the world in ways we can scarcely imagine. And that’s what I see when I look at that tiny little bundle of circuitry. So I appreciate it when others see it the same way.
For more on Pinoccio, or to get one of your own, click the photo or visit their IndieGogo page.