It's not quite ready for the 2009 holidays, but you can bet that the Twoddler
will be a big hit at Christmas next year and, maybe, become a baby shower staple thereafter. Developers at Belgium's Hasselt University created the Twoddler (Twitter + toddler) prototype by rigging a Fisher Price activity center
up to a laptop, so that when baby pushes certain buttons and spins certain colorful objects, specific pre-written messages are tweeted to a parent's Twitter account. The Twoddler just won the top prize at the 2009 Innovative and Creative Applications Awards
(and was featured on, um, Fox News
) and seems destined to be picked up by some savvy toy manufacturer.
Of course, it doesn't actually teach toddlers anything about using social media responsibly (or at all, really), and seems more like a monitoring device for parents with day jobs. Which is great if you are said parent, but what about all those followers who'll be flooded with repetitive "I miss you mommy" tweets? Think about the followers! (Gadget Lab)