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People's Daily Online>>China Society

When tech meets whim, water gets life

By Yan Weijue (

14:25, December 25, 2011

The photo, taken on Dec 23, 2011, shows Chen Longbiao stands beside a water fountain and an automatic inducing system he invented at a computer lab in Zhejiang University. (Photo/

A micro blog account on a water fountain has attracted more than 30,000 followers within 48 hours of its birth on Sina Weibo, becoming latest cyber buzz on the Internet.

The micro blog, "Water Fountain in CCNT lab in Zhejiang University", launched by a PHD student in Computer Science at the University, automatically updates the status quo of a water fountain in the computer lab. When the water boils it uses flirty and endearing Internet slang common among Chinese netizens.

Its first message was delivered at 4:06 pm Thursday, saying "according to what I have observed on the celestial phenomena, the water is boiling." After repeating the line seven times in the two hours after, it took a sexy tone, yelling out, "Master, I'm hot, come and drink me soon."

The secret of its intelligence lies on an automatic inducing system, said Chen Longbiao, the designer and moderator of the micro blog account.

Chen has set up the system by attaching a camera to the water fountain. This camera monitors the indicator light on the fountain which reads red for boiling water and green for empty. The information is then sent from the camera to a program through a data cable connected to a nearby laptop, which will receive message delivering orders.

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