Bear with me here as I describe a bit of plant-related technology.  A group of highly talented, and very clever artists, designers, and computer whizzes have developed and are marketing a product that monitors the soil condition of a potted plant, and alerts you when it needs watering.  Granted, this concept is not new.  But this product, which enables your parched plant to ring you up on the cell or send you a tweet, no matter where you are – I’m serious – is new to me, so perhaps it’s new to you as well.

Yes, your Baby Tears can cry onto your cell, during your lunch hour, “I’m dying of thirst.”  Your shade loving Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can interrupt an important meeting to berate your forgetfulness.  Your drooping seedlings might even concoct this:  Hello.  This is your tomato seedling calling.  You forgot to water me and my fellow seedlings again.  We can’t take this neglect any more.  As the Top Tomato, I’m representing our newly formed union, Tomatoes Against Underwatering (TAU).  Considering tau is a Greek symbol for life and resurrection, we agreed this is an appropriate name, as your disregard will soon rob us of both.  As TAU leader, I’m informing you that our union is making the following demand:  Water within the hour or you can kiss all thoughts of fresh picked tomatoes good by!

The Botanicalls collaborators seem to be gifted; quite frankly, I love their product name.  But, what the heck are they thinking?  To make this work – if you really want your plants calling/tweeting you, which is debatable – you must buy and assemble a kit.  It has over 30 parts, including a leaf-shaped mother-type board, a transistor, capacitors, switches, LEDs, sockets, and a voltage regulator, and assembly requires a soldering iron, solder, and a small collection of needle-nose pliers.  Once you properly complete this electrical feat, you get to install and test your mini computer, and set up cell/twitter alerts … all for a mere c-note, per kit.  One kit per plant.  But don’t worry, the website has a forum set up in case you have problems or questions.

Still don’t believe it?  Watch the hilarious, Saturday Night Live-esque videos on the Botanicalls website, they are worth a view.

I’d love to hear Louis Black wax comedic on this product.  Imagine, yourself as a high level exec.  Your firm’s profits are the latest to crumble in the economic downturn, but at least you have your comfy apartment to retreat to where you will find calm in the presence of your beloved plants.  Tweet: your dieffenbachia has dehydrated to near annihilation.  It’s a Friday afternoon and heavy traffic will delay its rescue for at least 3 hours.  S**t, might as well just step in front of a bus.

Comedy aside, why would one go to the time and expense required of this product?  Can’t you just notice a plant’s leaves drooping, or stick your finger in the soil, or – now here’s a novel concept – set up a watering schedule … say once a week?



Filed under Gadgets & Stuff, Gardening, General

3 responses to “Botanni-calls?

  1. Ralph

    Once again there is proof that PT Barnum was right, a sucker born every minute. Cool little gizmo for true techno geeks, but then again, do true techno geeks garden? Those of my friends who garden are better at using rakes and shovels than an IR spectrometer. (but then again, there’s John; the exception to every rule). I’m sure they’ll sell some to gardening wiz-kids but it just seems way to gadgety for real world application. Although it might have application to your 300 plant, underground marijuana farm. Na, not even that.
    2 cents.

  2. PS, I love the lewis black bit.

  3. joenesgarden

    He’s joking about the underground farm! All my gardening is above ground.

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