“Hey Google, ask Alfredo how it’s doing” - Keeping your plants healthy requires some attention and dedication, but it should be simpler with today's technology. Talking to your plants would certainly make things easier. So that’s exactly what we did!
For those without green fingers
So, you bought a new green friend and you told yourself to really look after it this time. However, soon enough you don't even remember the last time you watered the plant. And the next thing you know, it’s hanging there with droopy leaves.
We understand the frustration, that’s why we challenged ourselves to make it more fun and easier to take care of your beloved plant. Simply ask what they need, and they will tell you. This makes your life easier and that of your plant longer. A classic win-win situation!
The concept was conceived when we were looking for plants for our office. We stumbled upon Plantsome, a company that delivers plants straight to your doorstep. All their plants have personalities and names, just like people. We bought a plant called Alfredo, which originated from Mexico. The idea of giving plants personalities is very suitable for a voice application.
Knowing how your plant is feeling gives you a great indication of how it’s doing. Sadly enough, we can’t physically ask. But the nearest approach is to determine the surrounding factors of the plant, like temperature, water and nutrients in the soil, and the amount of light. With this information we can get an indication of the well-being of the plant.
We decided to design the interaction with the plant like it is your new best (green) friend. Therefore, we illustrated different conditions that the plant could have, like hunger, thirst, hot or cold. Based on these conditions, the plant shows different emotions.
The rise of the voice assistant
Voice assistants are becoming increasingly more popular. It’s easy to use and accessible to everyone. Many people already use their voice assistants to control their lamps at home. Asking how your plants are doing is therefore not so far-fetched, is it?
By using the Xiaomi Flora Plant Sensor, we were able to measure temperature, moisture, conductivity and the light surrounding the plant. We use a Raspberry Pi for collecting the sensor data every 15 minutes. This data is pushed to an Azure Function, which stores the plant’s data in a database.
The combination of hardware, software and a conversational interface makes this project truly unique. Not all ideas are suitable for a conversational interface, but if you want to give people the ability to talk to non-talkative objects in a human way, conversational is an intuitive way of doing so.
Check out the video
See Hello Plant in action. Enjoy the video and share if you like!