The Selfie Plant
They say that plants grow better when people talk to them. Do Facebook comments count?
We’ve covered a lot of smart gardening products over the years, including flowerpots that can take care of their own watering. But The Selfie Plant, a project from several students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, takes the smart garden in a different direction.
Instead of checking weather forecasts and reminding the plant’s owner to care for it, the Arduino Yún-powered vessel uses its Internet connection to create a social media presence. It even gives the plant its own “selfie stick” in the form of a motorized arm. Combined with a rotating platform underneath the flowerpot itself, this allows the plant to pose and preen for the camera — and post the photos to Facebook, of course.
“The Selfie Plant expresses itself in the form of a nice-looking selfies, which it clicks according to its mood, weather or occasion,” write Shruti KNR, Haoyu Li and Manu Dixit. “It mimics human behaviour, by giving it’s best pose and adjusting the camera angle to take the perfect selfie.”
The students’ goal is to explore how selfie culture can be applied to our interactions with nature. What if a plant “could record moments like blooming of a flower or a new leaf, and then share these moments on the social network,” they wonder. Perhaps this form of inanimate self-expression “might be able to draw public attention and would act as a bridge between humans and nature.”
While becoming Facebook friends with a potted flower could rightly be seen as frivolous, it would be interesting to see how the Selfie Plant concept could be applied towards broader trends of device agency in the marketplace, or larger social issues like conservation efforts. An autonomous social media presence attached to an ancient tree in a rainforest threatened by clearcutting, or a melting Antarctic glacier, might allow people to form a daily personal connection to environmental problems like deforestation and global warming.
Learn more about The Selfie Plant in the video below.
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