What if your toothpaste could tell you whether you needed to leave the house carrying an umbrella? Or how hot the day was going to be?
Odd as it may sound, David Carr of MIT's Media Lab is working on just such a prototype product, "Tastes Like Rain."
Carr and his colleagues are focused on super-mechanicals, or the idea of taking a basic object and giving it dynamic properties (consider, for example, the Proverbial Wallets, also out of MIT's Media Lab, that know your financial state).
In this case, toothpaste is modified to dispense one of three flavors depending on the weather. If it's mint, you know it's colder out than yesterday. Cinnamon means it's hotter. Blue stripes indicate tartar precipitation.
The prototype is currently hooked up to a small Linux computer that pulls forecasts, using custom software to compare previous and current temperatures and divvy up the flavors.
Then, linear actuators squeeze out the proper variety of toothpaste through a heavily modded Mentadent dispenser. … Read more