11:13 01st Jul, 2016
Plants Do Talk - PhytlSigns Lets Us Listen In
Swiss company launches new technology that lets your plants communicate with you - and the possibilities are far reaching.
Ever since I watched “The Apple Trees” in Wizard of Oz talking to Dorothy, I spent my entire childhood wondering would trees actually talk and what would they say if they could talk? Scientific innovations have changed the course of mankind and this planet.
Now this answers my childhood question. PhytlSigns - an innovative and unique piece of wearable tech for plants, is a plant monitor unlike any other - because it specifically listens in to what the plant itself is communicating rather than simply measuring the air temperature or the soil around it.
Recently trialled and covered in an exclusive by New Scientist, PhytlSigns is available now through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
PhytlSigns works by amplifying the electrical signals that plants use to communicate internally, allowing us, for the first time, to hear them (though a speaker attached to the device) and see them (through an app on your phone or tablet). Water or mist your plants, and observe with PhytlSigns how, through their language of electrical signals, they are reacting to their environment.
If you are a keen gardener or plant enthusiast, a techie into signal processing, or a professional grower or academic working with plants, PhytlSigns opens up the fascinating world of plant communication.
"It's really different, it will be good to see day-to-day variations and start to see patterns and you'll get to know your plants' signals," says Ken Hollis, Plant enthusiast, Cheshire, England.
Hearing and seeing what plants are telling us is, however, just one part of the PhytlSigns story.
"By analysing the signals our plants are emitting we can start to unlock the messages within them, and ultimately- decode the language of plants,"says Nigel Wallbridge, Tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Vivent Sárl (the company behind the device). "Is a plant under attack from pests? Does it need water?Understanding what our plants are saying is exciting for everyone-from those who wouldlike to takebettercare of their plants,to those interested inthe environment, sustainability, the future of food production and open agriculture and the possibilities are far reaching."
Vivent Sárl is bringing PhytlSigns to Kickstarter to build a community of people both captivated and intrigued by using this technology to explore what their plants are communicating. The funding goal is Fr75,000 (approx. US$75,000) and the money pledged will buy the tooling and components for the first large production run, and allow the software for the app to be developed so that it is engaging, exciting and easy to use. PhytlSigns will be delivered to Kickstarter campaign backers in April 2017.
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