Plants can brighten up a home of living space, but they can be tricky to maintain. These need light, sunshine, and water, but not too much of any of these things.
Let’s be blunt about this – plants are needy. If only plants could communicate their emotions, needs, and desires with us…
Fun fact – they can, compliments of Mu Design. These creative and enterprising souls have devised a smart planter named Lua, which is accompanied by an app that syncs to your plant.
Lua contains an LED screen that tells your plant precisely what it wants and needs to thrive. Essentially, this device turns your potted plant from static room decoration to cyber-pet. Sure, it’s yet another responsibility to add to your list, and you’ll feel terrible if you neglect your plant and it dies. But hey, on the plus side, it’s cute.
This sounds …disconcerting
Oh, it will be. At least at first. The eyes of your planter will follow you around the room, thanks to motion sensor technology. If it’s trying to tell you something and ignore it, you’ll likely be met with a grumpy glare. It would pull the same face if a crafty cat tried to nibble on leaves, too.
Once you’ve unpacked your planter, you’ll need to download a matching app for your smartphone. From here, you can enter all the relevant information pertaining to your plant. Matching this to Lua via a QR code, you’ll get technical readouts of how your plant is feeling at any time.
More to the point, though, the planter will tell you via facial expressions on an LED screen. 15 different faces will be available, each of which expresses a different state of mind.
A happy face suggests that your plant is doing fine. You can sit back, relax, and feel smug. If the face shows vampire fangs, your plant has spent too much time in the dark. It needs a little sunlight, stat.
Your planter may also shiver, suggesting that the contents are getting a little cold. At the opposite end of the spectrum, it may sweat and pant. This means that the plant needs a cooling drink.
Not too much, though. If your planter is squinting at you, the last watering was a little excessive.
Expect to pay around $100 per planter. Sure, that’s costlier than anything you’ll find in the local garden center. Do those planters talk to you, though? If so, you may need to seek professional help. That’s not supposed to happen.
It’s worth noting that Lua can only be used indoors. The planter is powered by USB, which is considerably more eco-friendly than batteries. It will also last considerably longer than AAs.
You’ll also be able to choose from two colors before manufacturing starts on the planters – eggplant and sunflower. This could rise to four by the time the crowdfunding campaign ends. Agave is up for grabs as a shade, as is a fourth color to be determined by popular opinion.
All being well, 2020 will see the start of a green-fingered revolution throughout the world. If you have never managed to keep a plant alive, or you’re interested in starting an herb garden, here’s your chance. Just brace yourself for a serious guilt trip if you get things wrong. It’s impossible to ignore those little faces.