This story is from the category Sensors
Date posted: 20/07/2012
Interactive telecommunications researchers designed a soil-moisture sensor device that can allow a house plant to communicate with its owner. The device can send short messages to a mobile phone or, by using a service called Twitter, it can send short messages to the Internet. The messages can range from reminders to water the plant, a thank you or a warning that you over- or under-watered it. To communicate, probes in the soil emit electric waves. A voltage level based on the moisture content is sent through two wires to a circuit board that compares the optimum moisture level with the current one. A local network receives this data and allows the plant to send a message through the device.
House plants look good, brighten a room, produce oxygen, purify indoor air, eliminate noxious gases and reduce carbon monoxide levels. So why do so many of us forget to water them? Now, there may be a solution to solve that problem. Thirsty plants can now let you know they need water.
Knowing what your plants need isn't always this simple. For most of us, it's more of a guessing game. Phyllis Bilowich believes her porch plants like sharing her morning cup of joe.
"The hibiscus has grown taller than me," said Bilowich. "I contribute that to the coffee."
Now she can not only see the results, but Phyllis' plants can tell her exactly what they need. A new system called Botanicalls, developed by interactive telecommunications researchers, allows your plants to send "tweets," or short text messages, to your mobile phone or messages to the Internet.
"They'll recognize when they've been watered, and they'll say thank you, and they'll also let you know if you've over-watered or under-watered," said Botanicalls developer Katie London.
Botanicalls researchers have created units with a soil-moisture sensor.
"We have a little micro-controller unit that's basically a little computer that's hooked up to your plant," said developer Kate Hartman.
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