7 craziest things connected to the Internet

Cows. Crops. Sewers. Thanks to the 'Internet of Things' trend, the world is now full of crazy, wirelessly connected stuff. Here are some of the wildest.

Desk toys
gallery connected things

Yes, we now live in a world of Wi-Fi-controlled paper. Paris startup ReaDIYmate makes Internet-connected paper toys that move and play sounds, depending on what's happening in your digital life.

For example: When you get an email from your mother-in-law, the creature sitting on your desk can run around screaming "oh no!" or play a funereal dirge. If a Facebook friend likes your photo, the paper toy can dance around to a happy beat.

"Some 'Internet of Things' designs are about being super-useful, but we think there's a place for fun objects," says ReaDIYmate co-founder Marc Chareyron. "There's usually no emotional connection to technological objects, and we wanted to change that."

Customers can choose from about 20 artist-designed toys or create something all their own. Within each toy is a small motor and speaker. They attach to a teeny "computer brain" that contains an MP3 decoder, 2GB of storage and a Wi-Fi chip.

Users have to plug their ReaDIYmate into the computer just once to set it up, and then it becomes entirely wireless. The creature's behavior is controlled with a Web interface, where customers can select actions and sounds to go with notifications like a new email or tweet. Sounds can be selected from an online library, or users can upload their own MP3s.

The startup received more than $27,000 in April through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and Chareyron says the company plans to start shipping the devices in September. The kits are $109 for a basic model, which doesn't include a paper skin. The toy and "sculpture" models are an extra $20.


- Last updated September 18 2012 09:05 AM ET
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