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 (opens in new tab) 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.