Few things disappointed me more in childhood than the old two-cans-and-a-piece-of-string gag (seamonkeys would be a close second). I always suspected the device wouldn’t work, but there was really no way to tell. If you couldn’t hear your friend on the other line, he’d just yell louder, which defeated the entire purpose can correspondence. Maybe I was using the wrong can?
Anyway, thanks to modern technology and a few KickStarter dollars, the two-cans-and-a-string device has been perfected. Here’s the story from Wired.com:
Remember your childhood days when you and your best friend, who also happened to be your next-door neighbor, spent all night by your bedroom windows, talking through two tin cans attached to a string?
Oh wait, that only happened on TV.
Well, even though your nostalgia is more imagined than real, you can still advance the rudimentary two-cans-and-a-string concept with a refreshed, only slightly higher-tech version. We give you The Can, a project launched on Kickstarter by Monkey Wrench Design.
You can attach The Can to a computer or smartphone, and then talk with family, friends and colleagues through an aluminum can sourced from real food products. The Can features what the team jokingly calls “can-over-IP technology,” which basically boils down to a microphone and speaker stuffed inside the can’s empty chamber.
The device comes in two basic flavors: tomato paste and creamed corn. The team uses tomato paste cans to make The Can Mini, and creamed corn cans to make a larger device, The Can Club Community. The Can Mini attaches to mobile devices through the headphone jack, while the larger can attaches to computers via USB.