Matt Richardson over at Make: Online might have just come up with the ultimate way to get push notifications on the iPhone from physical objects in the real world. Like your garage door, your secret stash drawer – or your mailbox. Thanks to the power of open-source hardware Arduino, a PHP web server and the Prowl iPhone app, he managed to create a system that sends a notification to his iPhone every time mail is delivered to his mailbox. The notification arrives in seconds, as the mailbox is wired to an internet connection (no wireless for now) and the Arduino board tells the web server to forward a notification to the Prowl app via API. Of course, there is a sensor below the mailbox that knows when the lid is opened and closed.
The concept is great, useful and requires minimal PHP and hardware knowledge to be up and running. Sure, you still need to get an Arduino and follow the instructions, but it’s price worth to be paid only to be able to connect the real world with iOS. Let me say it again: real word sends push notifications to iOS. [via Boing Boing]