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Trangram: A fun 'internet of things' demo from Japan

Trangram: A fun 'internet of things' demo from Japan
Trangram lets you connect devices around the home to each other and to the web
Trangram lets you connect devices around the home to each other and to the web
View 8 Images
Trangram lets you connect devices around the home to each other and to the web
Trangram lets you connect devices around the home to each other and to the web
View gallery - 8 images

Back at Tokyo Make Meeting earlier this year, there was a fun demonstration showing us what kind of things might be possible if we connected various electrical devices around the home to the Internet, using a system called Trangram. Since the event, we've spoken with Hirotaka Hatayama, who has been working on this project together with his partner, Mr. Kinukawa.

"The original idea was that we thought it would be fun to be able to arrange and mash up electric parts just like web services, such as the 'Gakken EX-System' from Gakken which is famous in Japan," he told us. "We did not know how to explain but felt that it would be very attractive."

For those who may not remember the Gakken EX-System, it featured small connectible blocks with electrical components inside, that could be physically fitted side-by-side to create more complex electrical systems.

According to Mr. Hatayama, Trangram's current concept is to use a browser interface to put together electrical parts and web services. This "wiring editor" looks very much like Yahoo Pipes, allowing for a very intuitive and logical way to connect all the components by simply dragging and dropping.

Connecting various devices around the home to each other and to the web can result in some fun combinations. For a fuller explanation of how Trangram works, see the demo video of the first prototype below.

One Trangram demonstration shows that by using an iPhone as an input device, you can turn off lights from outside the home via the web. I wonder if I could connect it to a doggy door to let my dog in and out of the house while I'm outside? Now that would be really useful!

While this current version of Trangram is just a demo, Mr. Hatayama says that the next step is to "provide this system to some users for real use," and he's looking at next summer as his target.


View gallery - 8 images
I think, this system or other relataed will be widespread option of modern living space over the World in nearest future. I am working on \"Home automatic doors\" project ( that based on idea to adopt automatic doors for home use with special demands of structure, working and management. Of course, my automatic home doors should also be connected to such home management system.
Of course the danger is that if you hook your lights up to the internet, then someone else can hack in and put them all out and put you into darkness. Creepy sort of. But it is probably the way of the future.
I already do all of these things with my X-10 system and smarthome modules. Nothing new to see here! I\'ve been doing these things in my house since the 70\'s...1970\'s!
Captain Danger
I\'m with Ed,

I bought my dad an X-10 years ago (but not the 70\'s)
It communicates over the existing house wiring so there is no need to add Ethernet wiring.
I could see adding on module that was attached to the internet for remote access, it would be really simple. In fact I bet X-10 already has something like that available.

Charles Bosse
One nice thing about wireless interfaces like these is that you no longer have to drill through walls to place a new switch. Of course it also means that the interface is more hackable, which is a problem.
I am surprised that USB has not seen higher integration into the home, considering its increasing use as a charging and power control standard. In fact, LED light arrays could probably be run off USB alone, and would be more efficient and more controllable than most current home lighting.
Anumakonda Jagadeesh
Good Innovation.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India