I've been giving a lot of thought to what I like to call "beyond tweeting" lately. While we all know Twitter is a useful service for keeping up with friends, following the latest trends, and learning breaking news fast, I think the service could be used for something much more mundane, but also, much more useful: controlling a home.
So what does a beyond tweeting enabled home look like? Pretty interesting, in my opinion! Imagine you're out at a party and you suddenly remember you've forgotten to arm the alarm system. No problem! Just pull out your mobile phone and tweet @myhome ALARM enable and, just like that, your alarm system, which is connected to your home network in some way, receives the tweet, arms itself, and you can continue to have fun.
Or let's say you're going to be later than you expected and you didn't turn the lights on. Again, your mobile to the rescue! Send the @myhome LIGHTS on command and, just like that, your lights are turned on.
There's really no limit to the devices or systems that could be connected to the home network and, thereby, Twitter and the software to control it all is fairly trivial to create. Much of it is already out there in fact and just needs to be pieced together. Within a few days to a week at most, you could near totally Twitter enable your home and make communicating with devices much, much easier.
The possibilities are pretty endless and is limited only by your imagination and the amount of work you're willing to put into it. And those possibilities don't end with homes either. Robert Scoble, discussing a post iPhone world and the real time birth of his child, even speculated that hospital systems could be hooked up and totally controlled by Twitter and text message. Obviously, Twitter has to come a long way before we're there, but the point is that the could eventually be networked in this fashion.
I think the time when most people think of Twitter in a "dude, I just had the most awesome PB&J sandwich" way is nearing an end. More and more people are starting to think of creative ways to use Twitter and Twitter is actively supporting those people through an open API that anyone with a little knowledge can access.
What can we build?
What can we enable?
That, my friend, is up to you.