Friday, October 24, 2008

Potted plant blog

A plant in a restaurant near Tokyo is writing a blog.

"Midori-san," a hoya kerrii (or "sweetheart plant"), has a sensor attached to it that interprets the plant's feelings and moods, and blogs the results. From a Reuters story:

"'We were initially interested in what plants are feeling and what they are reacting to where we can't see,' said Satoshi Kuribayashi, a researcher involved in the project at Japan's Keio University.

"The strength of electronic signals on the surface of Midori-san's heart-shaped green leaves, which react to light and human touch, are measured by a sensor attached to the plant, and this data is sent to a computer in the cafe.

"The computer uses an algorithm to translate the signal data, as well as other factors -- including weather and temperature -- to translate them into words, which are automatically posted on Midori-san's blog (

"'Today was a sunny day and I was able to sunbathe a lot... I had quite a bit of fun today,' Midori-san, whose name means 'green' in Japanese, posted on Oct 16."


Unrelated side note: Subtle "Spinal Tap" reference: If you follow the link to the BBC story, there is video that accompanies the story. I've never noticed before that, on the embedded video player on BBC news stories, the volume goes to ELEVEN.

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