Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Touch your philodendron and control your computer: Technology turns any plant into an interactive device

Date:
August 6, 2012
Source:
Disney Research
Summary:
Any houseplant -- real or artificial -- could control a computer or any digital device with new technology, called Botanicus Interactus.

A yucca plant might make your office desk look nice, but with a new technology developed at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, that little shrub could possibly control your computer. And the jade plant nearby? Put your hand close to it and your iPod could start playing your favorite tunes.

Any houseplant -- real or artificial -- could control a computer or any digital device with this technology, called Botanicus Interactus. Once a single wire is placed anywhere in the plant's soil, the technology can detect if and where a plant is touched, or even if someone gets near the plant.

Disney researchers will demonstrate an interactive garden of real and artificial plants at SIGGRAPH Emerging Technology, Aug. 5-9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Turning a houseplant into a device for interacting with computers and digital media no longer seems all that strange, contends Ivan Poupyrev, senior research scientist at Disney Research, Pittsburgh.

"Computing is rapidly fusing with our dwelling places and, thanks to touchpads and Microsoft Kinect, interaction with computers is increasingly tactile and gestural," he explained. "Still, this interaction is limited to computing devices. We wondered -- what if a broad variety of everyday objects around us could interact with us?"

Botanicus Interactus is built upon capacitive touch sensing, the same principle underlying the touchscreens used in most smartphones. But instead of sensing electrical signals at a single frequency like the typical touchscreen, this technology uses Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing (SFCS) technique to monitor capacitive signals across a broad range of frequencies. This makes it possible to detect not only if the plant is being touched, but to estimate where and how the plant is being touched. Machine-learning algorithms are used to recognize frequency changes associated with touches in particular locations on the plant.

"Giving plants a voice, a possibility to respond and engage us, could lead to new forms of entertainment, enhance our lifestyles and create a new computational platform that could be used for both education and entertainment," Poupyrev said. "In a sense, we are creating a new 'species' of plant that we call Botanicus Interactus."

In addition to Poupyrev, developers of this new technology include Philipp Schoessler of the Berlin University of the Arts, Jonas Loh of Studio NAND, Germany, and Munehiko Sato of the University of Tokyo. Christian Riekoff and the studio TheGreenEyl joined Disney Research on designing and producing the SIGGRAPH exhibition.

Further information and video: http://www.disneyresearch.com/research/projects/hci_botanicus_drp.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Disney Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Disney Research. "Touch your philodendron and control your computer: Technology turns any plant into an interactive device." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806094053.htm>.
Disney Research. (2012, August 6). Touch your philodendron and control your computer: Technology turns any plant into an interactive device. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806094053.htm
Disney Research. "Touch your philodendron and control your computer: Technology turns any plant into an interactive device." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806094053.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Facebook earnings beat forecasts- with revenue climbing 61 percent. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) eBay's StubHub is caught up in an international cyber crime ring stretching from North America to Europe. Conway G. Gittens reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins