Smart Fridge Poetry Magnets

The common variety of fridge poetry magnets consist of a large collection of magnets labelled with words which can be rearranged into lines of poetry. Fridge poetry magnets are generally seen as static expressive devices.

Smart Fridge Poetry Magnets are an extension of their predecessors that distinguish themselves from their analogue counterparts by being able to individually access large dictionaries of words, select words based on the content of neighbouring magnets and learn a basic sense of grammar through user interactions.

Each magnet has a lexicon of words and their associated parts of speech (POS), words defined in relation to their grammatical function. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and adverbs are all parts of speech.

Magnets learn through positive interactions what parts of speech are preferred neighbours. The desired outcome of this is to explore the possibility of an emergent abstract poetry, as well as a whimsical, playful approach to agent-based learning.

The flow of interaction is as follows:

- The user selects a magnet and places it on the fridge.
- The magnet communicates with its neighbours and finds out what POS they are.
- If the user leaves the magnet on the board, it learns that its left and right neighbours’ POS are valid with respect to its own POS.
- A magnet can have its current word changed by depressing a button on the magnet. The magnet then selects a new word through a probability distribution based on the history of its left and right neighbours.
- The user then selects the next magnet to place on the fridge. This can be placed to the left or right of any words already on the fridge.

Communication between magnets is effectuated through bi-directional infrared transmitter/receivers.


The hardware prototypes of the Smart Fridge Poetry Magnets each consist of the following:

* A microcontroller
* A 16-character LCD display
* Infrared based transmitter/receivers on each side of the display (to communicate with neighbouring magnets)
* An SD (SecureDigital) memory card interface which enables us to load different databases of words into each magnet
* A button to change the displayed word

Project web-page: