'Making Things Talk'--DIY projects that communicate

A new book from Make magazine publisher O'Reilly shows how to create projects with built-in communication.

'Making Things Talk,' a new book from O'Reilly--the publisher of 'Make' magazine--shows how to make do-it-yourself toys that can communicate. O'Reilly Publishing

Who doesn't love cool, do-it-yourself toys, the kind of projects that Make magazine has been celebrating for the last couple of years?

Well, now think of such things and imagine them talking to you, to each other or even to your cat.

That's the premise of Making Things Talk, a new book by Tom Igoe due out Oct. 15 from O'Reilly, publisher of Make.

The idea is just that, according to a press release I got this morning from O'Reilly: How to bestow "the power of communications upon your favorite tech creations through simple projects that present the guidelines for electronic verbosity."

Now, as a geek, I can't really help but salivate over that line. I don't think I have the skills myself to manifest Igoe's instructions, but I know a heck of a lot of people who do, and once I get my copy, I'm marching it over to one or two of them and offering a trade: the book for some talking toy.

An example of what Igoe teaches, courtesty of the release: "The Pet Lover: Want to play with your pet while you're away? Discover the 'networked cat cam' and the interactive pet bed that sends you personal emails!"

It sounds like playing Nabaztag with your own cat! How great is that?

Igoe, meanwhile, is a teacher at New York University's terrific Interactive Telecommunications Program, and that in and of itself is reason enough to buy the book. So if you have any toys you'd like to find talking to you when you get home from work--and who doesn't?--check this out.

 

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