For most of us, throwing cushions in the air and jumping up and down on our couches while enjoying the Soccer World Cup action can only spell one thing – serious trouble. Not so with MWeb’s latest fun marvel, their tweeting couch. And no, it’s not making a statement about uncouth male behaviour. Instead, it’s a tongue in cheek comment on the global ‘second screen’ trend, where people habitually connect to social networks via digital devices while watching telly.
The 2.1 metre long #MWEBTweetSeat tweets stuff like “#Laduuma!” and “#GoHomeRef!” when the printed cushions are either squeezed or tossed into the air while watching any of the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches in a Wi-Fi connected space. It gets even better: If your team wins, you‘re encouraged to jump up and down exuberantly on the couch to send the gloating cry “We won!”
Says Carolyn Holgate, GM of MWeb Connect: “As the culture of always being connected wherever you are grows, we’ve seen a change in how people use the Internet and Wi-Fi over the past few years, and with events such as the Soccer World Cup, the trend of interacting with televised or streamed content via Web-enabled devices is certainly a defining Internet behaviour of our era.”
Here’s how the tweeting couch works: A Raspberry Pi microcomputer, embedded in the couch, connects to the Internet via a Wi-Fi connection. Then accelerometers, hidden inside the cushions, register when the pillows are in freefall to trigger the relevant tweet. Project developer Paul Mesarick elaborates: “What’s really exciting about this is that it can be easily reconfigured to be used for other things than football. We just change the pillows, change the tweets and we can use it for anything from the Game of Thrones finale, to Project Runway or Master Chef.”
To connect with the couch on Twitter go to @MWEBTweetSeat
Some fun FIFA 2014 World Cup social media facts
* Globally, an estimated 3.6 billion viewers are tuning into the soccer action in Brazil, and about 70 per cent of fans are going online in real-time with their mobile phones.
* The match between Brazil and Chile broke Twitter records by generating a mind-boggling 16 million tweets during the game – something that wouldn’t have been possible if people weren’t able to ‘second screen’ from their couches.
* Uruguayan striker and habitual biter Luis Suarez is getting 5 272 Twitter mentions an hour, 75 per cent of which are negative.