March 12, 2008

The hype of the Twittering Plants

From February 24, 2007 several newssites and blogs reported about how Botanicalls made it possible for plants to Twitter. Probably Makezine was one of first sites reporting this news.

Botanicalls is a project concerning communications between plants and people. Each plant on the Botanicalls system is equipped with sensors. The hardware connected to the sensors is able to determine when a human intervention is needed. This human intervention can be requested by a phone call automatically generated by the hardware and software. Now the sensors can be connected to a computer generating Twitter messages. Hopefully these Twitter messages are read by someone who can come to apply the requested action, probably adding water.

On the Botanicalls site detailed instructions can be found on how to set up the system. You need a plant, a little bit of hardware (e.g. transistors, resistors, led, wires, nails), an Arduino board, a computer, a little bit of software, (the Arduino environment and the Botanicalls Twitter Code) and finally a Twitter account.

There has been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere and in the twitosphere.

Despite all this buzz, I only found 3 Twitter accounts presumably from a twittering plant.
twitter.com/pothos
twitter.com/pothos_etech08
twitter.com/faludi

The people at Botanicalls are interested in the experiences of others setting up Twitter accounts for plants that need water. They ask that experimenters would upload photos of their setup on Flickr with the tag: Botanicalls_Twitter. Currently there is only one such photo on Flickr.

Conclusion. A lot of people have picked up the news. Some have ordered the hardware. Only very few people actually connected the hardware yet to their plants. In the meantime Twitter users had an interesting topic to discuss in the twitosphere.

PS I am wondering why the people at Botanicalls did not consider to link to sensors to an automated watering device.

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