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.
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.