It seems that every company now has boffins designing the improbable. I mean, how likely is it that someone would invent a way to interact with plants that creates music?
Disney Research, (yes, it’s associated with Disney, the new owners of the Star Wars franchise) has developed a new technology called Touche.
Touche transforms virtually anything into a multi-touch surface. A fish tank, a small furry creature (a real one, not an Ewok) or, a simple house plant.
Why? Well, this elegantly simple technology will enable Disney to make even touching plants at its theme parks into an experience.
Essentially, a diode is added to plant soil. By touching the plant, you complete an electrical circuit. But, the pressure of the touch on different parts of the plant, say stem over flowers, creates a different frequency. Software then interprets the different frequencies into sound. Thus, an orchid can become a musical instrument, strumming flowers and playing drums on leaves. And, every plant is different! It’s fascinating.
Interestingly, the more a plant is touched, the greater the reaction. So, I’m not sure if that’s the plant trying to say “Stop touching me!” or, it thinks the attention is awesome. Maybe it is a kind of magic.
It takes an interesting, entrepreneurial mind to think of the application of touch technology to house plants.