6 incredible Twitter-powered inventions that will blow your mind

#PoweredbyTweets is an innovative new installation at Somerset House showcasing six unique ways that Twitter could change the world.

Part of the London Design Festival 2015, the exhibition is the culmination of a contest that began in April to see amazing Twitter-powered inventions brought to life.

From a pigeon-powered air pollution patrol in the skies, to a magic typewriter unlocking 'Alice In Wonderland', a beautiful mirrored, state of the art Twitter-powered hospital ward, and more, the six winning ideas aim to challenge your perception of how the platform could impact the way we live our lives.

#Powered by Tweets is free to the public and runs until 27 September. If you're in London, it's worth seeing the six ideas, which have been brought to life by design agency Bureau De Change and build agency Pixie Labs.

And for those who can't make it, here are the six winning ideas…

  • Category: Solve a problemIdentify a problem and describe the ways that your design, using the collective power of Twitter, creates an innovative solution.

01. #PigeonAirPatrol

Pigeon Air Patrol

Pigeon Air Patrol
  • Pierre Duquesnoy and Matt Daniels

See how a flock of pigeons can monitor the quality of the air and report back in real time on Twitter.

Each pigeon will be equipped with a backpack capable of measuring carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and you can see what this means in cities across the world in this interesting installation.

02. #Wordwatching

Wordwatching, photo by Alistair Macrobert

Wordwatching, photo by Alistair Macrobert
  • Mark Carroll and Alex Willimott

The top three words of 2013 were heavily influenced by "internetisms": 404, hashtag, Fail… Then in 2014 that went a step further.

Not only with new behaviour, such as vaping becoming common language, but the number one word was in fact a symbol - the Heart Emoji.

#WordWatching will address: how do we keep up with language and how does it evolve?

03. #Tweettaps

Tweettaps, photo by Alistair MacRobert

Tweettaps, photo by Alistair MacRobert
  • Kate Waters, Perry Price, Pat McCaren; in partnership with WaterAid

Tweettaps aims to use Twitter to keep people engaged in the donation process. After pledging a monthly donation to WaterAid, users are assigned a #TweetTap that they've chosen to support, for example a tap in Muele, Mozambique.

This Twitter-enabled tap will then update the donor with how much water it has produced and the impact it's had on the local community, creating shareable, tangible results and a stronger bond with the initial donation.

  • Category: Create something beautifulCreate something amazing using Tweets or Twitter data that makes people pause for thought and want to share with others.

01. #Putredback

Putredback, photo by Alistair MacRobert

Putredback, photo by Alistair MacRobert
  • By Vincent Versluis, Florian Hollander and Oliver Dennis; Cheil

There is a shortage of blood across the UK. By law, gay men are not allowed to donate blood. Everybody deserves the right to help another human being and this installation is a beautiful interactive art piece that uses Twitter and the London Design Festival to fight for this human right.

The exhibit will feature a flag shaped installation, filled with different colour liquids, resembling the rainbow flag. With each Tweet, a symbolic drop of "blood" will be added, slowly putting red back in the rainbow.

02. The Social Mindscape

The Social Mindscape

The Social Mindscape
  • By Adeola Akande and Eloise Parfitt; Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, London

Harnessing the power of Twitter, The Social Mindscape enables cancer patients receiving chemotherapy to communicate non-verbally and create a visual #mindscape they can collectively enjoy in real time. Chemotherapy can be a traumatic and exhausting, #mindscape will provide an uplifting distraction from the natural anxieties of waiting and receiving treatment.

03. Word by Word

Word By Word, photo by Alistair MacRobert

Word By Word, photo by Alistair MacRobert
  • By Jeremy Garner, Dom Fisher, Yvain Granier, Pierre Briffaut and Albert Seleznyov; Hive Works

Use Twitter to reveal a story, one word at a time – with word 'released' by Twitter in real time. As a Tweet appears somewhere in the world containing the next word of the book, so Word By Word will release the book's next word – until the entire book has been gradually revealed.

The centrepiece in the exhibition is a typewriter, which types the next word in the manuscript whenever a Tweet is detected that contain it.

#Powered by Tweets runs until 27 September at London's Somerset House.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.