We love plants; they bring life and beauty to whatever environment we place them in, but any person who’s new to caring for plants knows just how hard it can be to keep track of the plant’s needs. Children tell us when they’re hungry, dogs whimper and stare and cats meow, but plants? They just, well, sit there. But what if our plants could tell us when they’re thirsty? Wouldn’t it make it that much easier to care for them?
Do you remember Tamagotchi? Those were cute and educational toys that taught children how to responsibly care for pets in a controlled environment by giving them a digital pet that needed to be fed, cleaned and played with. Mu Design, a small company from Luxembourg had a genius idea: to pair that concept with modern sensor technology to create a smart planter that can detect when your plant is dehydrated, oversaturated with water, cold, or when it needs sunlight, and all of this with a smile.
The way it works is you download an app and synch your phone with the planter, enter the type of plant you’re growing, and you’re set. The planter, called Lua, will then display a happy face which will be its default expression. The planter can also move its eyes to follow moving objects in front of it, including people and pets, which may also serve to deter a frisky cat from swiping at it or dropping it. When the planter doesn’t detect any movement, the display will literally enter sleep mode, as the planter will yawn and drift off.
Lua has several different expressions to communicate your plant's various needs:
• Thirsty. If the planter is panting and sticking its tongue out, that means that the soil inside isn’t moist enough.
• Vampire. If the planter displays a fanged smile and red eyes, that means that the plant requires more exposure to light.
• Cold. If Lua is shivering and clattering its teeth, the plant requires a warmer temperature.
• Sick. If the display looks about ready to throw up, that means there is too much water in the pot. Wait until it’s thirsty before watering again.
• Squint. If the planter is squinting its eyes, that means the plant is overexposed to sunlight.
• Hot. If the display is sweating, the plant requires a cooler temperature.
As of writing, the planter isn’t available for purchase yet, as it is still in its fundraising stage, having nearly reached their goal, but they’re hoping to begin shipping these smart and cute planters by December 2019. Here's hoping they achieve their goal, as we can't wait to see these cute little planters in action!