Connected pet feeders, connected kettles, connected hairbrushes – there have been some quite silly connected devices launched to take advantage of the internet of things boom.
But this concept idea out of Japan's Android Experiments Objects showcase is a case for how the IoT can take a ubiquitous household item and make it fantastically more useful.
The 'Magic Calendar', from designer Kosho Tsuboi, is an e-paper screen that syncs with your Google Calendar, effectively giving an internet-connected twist to your standard wall-hanging day planner.
Here's a video of the concept in action:
A magic reimagining
The details are slim (and not made any easier to discern thanks to the video's Japanese origins), but essentially the Magic Calendar would make use of a custom Android app to pull in real-time data from your Google calendar.
It's a great idea – add an event to your phone's Google Calendar app, and have it added to the physical e-paper calendar too. With others being able to add appointments to a Google Calendar (or multiple calendars, even) it could be a collaborative schedule, and fit in far more info than a small box on a regular paper calendar affords.
As an e-paper device it could stay on all day in a low-power mode, too, hanging discretely on a wall without necessarily emitting any light.
The video also shows some other uses for the device – there's a point where the Magic Calendar appears to display a world time zones map, and another where it displays a full-screen cooking recipe.
While there are apparently no concrete plans to develop the Magic Calendar for retail, it has been showcased in Japan – and hopefully the buzz it's generating will see someone pick it up for a full-scale production run, as it's a great idea we'd happily have hanging in the kitchen at home.
The ball is in your court, Google. Make it so.