While the term “Plant Parent” has become a pretty standard term in the millennial lexicon, taking care of plants isn’t as easy as it looks! Sure, if you’ve got a dog or a cat, they let you know when they’re hungry, it’s easy to know when they’re bored or frisky, and you can take them to the vet when they’re unwell or unhealthy. With plants, not so much. There are a lot of factors that contribute to a plant’s health – soil, water, sunlight, pests, etc. But there isn’t any easy way of knowing what your plant needs… the BioCollar is changing that.
Designed by students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, the BioCaller is a wearable that builds empathy between the wearer and the connected plant. When paired with a piece of hardware that goes into the planter, the collar helps you understand the plant’s needs through real-time feedback. It becomes moderately tighter when the plant needs water, gets warm when the plant has too much sunlight, and vibrates when the plant has an infestation. In doing so, the wearable aims at letting the plant easily communicate its needs to you, and enables you to be a better plant-parent.
The BioCollar was designed as a part of a larger system called the BioPermit – a service that uses the collar to test prospective plant-buyers to see if they’re empathetic caregivers (a lot like how people are interviewed before they adopt a baby or pet). Obviously, the system is a speculative one, with its main aim being to test future scenarios and see if sensors can be developed that convert plant-needs into haptic feedback. I can definitely see this getting translated into something as effective as a wrist-worn fitness tracker that tracks your plant’s progress, or better still, an app that lets your plant communicate with you!
Designers: Sammy Creeger, Elliott Wortham & Maria Jose Tamayo