Botanicalls gives a voice to our voiceless everyday companions: house plants. Moisture sensors in a plant’s soil trigger messages that are sent to a human caretaker over a wireless network, opening up a playful yet useful line of communication about the plant’s needs. The messages are broadcast via Twitter or read aloud by a recorded human voice over the telephone; the plants are polite enough to send both distress calls and notes of thanks. Botanicalls enables just one form of interspecies communication, but its fresh use of sensor technology has a wide range of potential applications.
Gallery label from Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, July 24–November 7, 2011 .