Imagine a stroll in the park, a bench and tweets all around. Not birds' tweets, Twitter's tweets.

Chris McNicholl, a young designer from the University of Dundee, in Scotland, has created the TweetingSeat, 'an interactive park bench with an online presence.'

Each time someone sits down, TweetingSeat uploads an image from two cameras to a live Twitter feed. One camera is located on the bench looking at the surrounding space, and another is located nearby looking at the people who use it.

TweetingSeat - says Chris McNicholl - allows people to interact with it both in person and virtually, but the way in which the bench should be used has purposely been left open.

The interactive bench, a mix of metal and wood, aptly sports Twitter's bird perched on a blue wooden board which distinguishes it from a traditional park bench.

The author's purpose is to explore the potential for connecting physical and digital communities.

So far TweetingSeat has tweeted eighty-three times and earned the virtual curiosity of over 1,200 followers. Quirky and innovative, TweetingSeat will surely make friends but could also make some enemies.

In the UK, the difficult balance between privacy and social necessities is routinely strained by one of the most asphyxiating army of CCTV cameras in the world, officially introduced to counter street violence and terrorism.

Many people who sit on the TweetingSeat will know what's in store for them, but some park-goers may be unaware that the seemingly normal bench captures photographs.

Other products by Chris McNicholl, partly sponsored by Microsoft Research, include Social Sewing, a series of miniature networked sewing machines which allow friends to communicate as they work by way of an intercom.

He has also designed Bio Banking, which will help thwart increasing fraud and identity theft. The aim is to enable people to withdraw cash on the move using their mobile phone.

Once the phone has located the nearest cashpoint, the machine identifies the customer through a blood sample from the user. The system is based around micro-laser technology which is currently being developed to enable diabetic people to take blood samples without using needles.

This article is contributed by Vito Panico and does not represent the views or opinions of the International Business Times.
Vito Panico holds a Master's degree in journalism from The University of Sheffield. He currently lives in the Apulia region in Southeastern Italy where he writes for local and international publications. To contact Mr. Panico by email, please click here.