Thursday, July 26, 2007


New York University postgraduate students are developing a system that lets over-watered or dry plants phone for help.

The "Botanicalls" project uses moisture sensors placed in the soil that can send a signal over a wireless network to a gateway that places a call if the plant's too dry or wet.

Recorded voices are assigned to each plant to match its biological characteristics and to help increase the charm of the phone message and give plants their own personality.

Interactive communications student Rebecca Bray, who developed the concept with three colleagues, said the technology wasn't new. It's the way of communicating by voice and adding personality to the plants that's different.

"They will call and tell you they are thirsty and need a lot of water. They are also really polite," Bray told Reuters.

"We wanted to make sure that you weren't just getting phone calls that were really needy. So we have them calling you back when you've watered them to say thank you for watering me."


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