Is your smoothie trending?
June 8th, 2012
03:45 PM ET
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Sometimes, eating your words isn't a bad thing. Now you can do it 140 characters at a time.

As part of their Data Visualization course at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design this past semester, students Kat Zorina, Ruben van der Vleuten, and Kostantinos Frantzis created a project that allows them to transform Twitter data into edible graphs - smoothies, to be exact.

Using Twitter's API development software, they developed a machine that analyzes how often Twitter users' collectively mention ten smoothie ingredients and represents one day's worth of information as a recipe. The students' machine uses this recipe, where the ratio of each ingredient to the smoothie corresponds with the ingredient's Twitter popularity, to determine how much of each ingredient it should apportion to glasses on the table beside it.

Unlike a regular blended smoothie, the students' drinks are layered, preserving the utility of a graph. So, consumers may either take a quick glance at the concoction to determine which fruits and vegetables are trending in the world or embark upon linear culinary adventures to figure things out.

The project, however, does not take into account the environments in which ingredients are mentioned. For instance, there is no differentiation between the sentences "I love carrot cake! #yum" and "My son had an allergic reaction to carrots and is in the urgent care center! #urgentcarrot."

Still, an edible graph signals sensory innovation in data visualization. It could also inspire commercial endeavors.

Using social media to improve market research is not a new thing, but companies would be remiss to leave this information in computer files and not create with it. Offering products, from charm bracelets to ice cream flavors to music mashups, that visually reflect the culture of the Internet (and really, the global community) in a scientifically advanced way could prove to be a novelty.

In a time when consumers around the world eagerly purchase anything representing cutting edge technology, a school project in Denmark could help companies find a taste of success.

Follow the author at @Weinbergrrrrr and @eatocracy while you're at it

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Filed under: Buzz • Food Science • Sip • Technology • Twitter


soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. AleeD®

    Smoothie recipe? Who needs a recipe? Fruit, food processor, electricity, straw & drink. Simple. I like simple.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  2. Green Smoothie

    Sounds good...I'll try

    December 14, 2012 at 6:03 am |
  3. MarkGlicker

    A nice Berry smoothie is sounding good.

    June 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  4. Obama

    I don't even know the way I ended up here, however I assumed this publish used to be great. I don't recognise who you are but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!

    June 9, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  5. kfrantzis

    Here is a video of the project: https://vimeo.com/42973460

    June 9, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  6. xyj

    I mentioned durian fruit and stinky tofu quite frequently last month...

    June 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  7. Scott

    What a great article, this is an awesome idea. This fluid writing is great to read. :)

    June 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  8. rafffa

    CNN is getting unbelievable lame!

    June 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  9. Sandy Duncan's Glass Eye

    This article also creates a recipe: one part interesting and one part gay. Accordingly, more and more articles published online are also both interesting and gay. How's that for trending?

    June 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Sandy Duncan's Glass Eye

      ...published by CNN, that is.

      June 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  10. JOE

    OBAMA WOULD NEVER DRINK THAT STUFF

    June 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  11. F

    sigh

    June 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  12. ™©JbJiNg!eŚ®™

    Second, and currently last....

    June 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  13. Sal

    First, and hopefully last commenter...

    June 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
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