Turning trends into smoothies
by Nestor Bailly
For those who have ever wondered what their tweets taste like, students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design (CIID) have created a working prototype that represents data from the Twitter firehose in the form of a smoothie.
Konstantinos Frantzis, Kat Zorina and Ruben van der Vleuten use the Twitter API to gather mentions of fruits like blueberry, apple and pineapple. Their Tasty Tweets machine then creates a smoothie blend based on the same proportion of fruit flavors mentioned in the tweets. So if "apples" are popular at a particular moment, your smoothie will be dominated by apple flavors.
Because Twitter changes so quickly, no two smoothies will be alike. The data that determines each smoothie's composition is displayed on a screen, so you can both see and taste a history of trending fruit. As an added layer of visualization, their machine was built to be able to layer juices, creating 'graphs of juice' showing proportional mixtures in the glass.
Tasty Tweets is the result of a one-week data visualization course at CIID using the Twitter API to gather the tweets, processing to analyze and process the data, and an Arduino microcontroller with solenoid valves to control the flow of liquids. While conducted mostly for fun, the concept may hold potential for food and beverage brands to serve up "Tweetsourced" treats in the near future.