Un-TreeHugger: Botanicalls Now Allows Your Plants to Tweet For Water
I'm all for Twitter as a communication tool, but this really takes things in a direction that I have to say seems very Un-TreeHugger. Like on many issues, other TreeHugger writers may disagree, but a new device developed by the people who brought you Botanicalls which will send tweets to you when your plants need watering seems really a pointless use of technology:
"Obviously plants can't talk or Twitter directly, so we have to help them along with that," said Rob Faludi, co-creator of the device called Botanicalls .
The device is made of soil-moisture sensors that are connected to a circuit board. They measure the level of moisture, and then communicate the information to a microcontroller.
"There are settings in the software that allow you to set what kind of plant you're using and also adjust for characteristics of the soil, different soil has different qualities," said Faludi.
The device determines whether moisture levels are too low, or too high, and then transmits a wireless signal to Twitter, via the Internet, which lets people send short, 140-character text messages to their network of friends. (Reuters)
Reconnect With Nature? Your Money Is Better Spent Elsewhere
While the spirit of Botanicalls, and by extension their new Twitter-fied device is admirable—"...really re-engaging people with nature and getting them to pay attention"—I can't help but think the purchase price of the device ($99) would be better spent elsewhere.
You want to reconnect with nature and plunk down a C-note of your hard-earned cash? Buy some more plants, a book or two on how to care for them (which will probably serve their purpose long after we've moved onto whatever comes post-Twitter...), a membership to your local botanical garden, or on some maps to your local hiking trails. Get out from behind the f&@*^#! computer and put down your smartphone more often.
You already have everything you need to reconnect to the natural world within your grasp, and it doesn't involve electronic devices to check whether your plants need watering.
To paraphrase Allan Chochinov of Core 77, speaking at Greener Gadgets this year about a concept gadget that would monitor your plant for you, "We already have a device that tells you if your plant needs watering. It's called the plant."