Green Envy: A High-Tech Terrarium

Techie entrepreneurs create the first wired-plant habitat.

Is it an art exhibit, or the coolest terrarium ever?  It’s both, by golly!

The inspired vision of a team of designers, techies and architects, the Plant-in City is an experiment in linking the natural world to the technological one. On view at New York’s Mark Miller Gallery through January 13, Plant-in City is a “sculptural terrarium” made as a kind of park for your home or apartment.

The Mark Miller Gallery in Manhattan plays host to the techie-terrarium Plant-in City.

The Mark Miller Gallery in Manhattan plays host to the techie-terrarium Plant-in City.

The idea was germinated by a team of green-thinkers, Huy Bui, Carlos J. Gómez de Llarena and Jon Schramm. In this synthesis of Mother Nature and the Internet, sensors embedded in Plant-in City monitor the health of the plants contained within this sprawling terrarium and convey via cell phone their health and well-being — or imminent demise — to owners via the Internet. With the click of a button, plant-owners can remotely water or adjust the light to keep their plants thriving. If the vision of Plant-in City’s creators comes to fruition, and this high-tech terrarium comes to market, a European vacation will soon be possible without worrying about the plants. Now if only I could figure out a way to remotely water, feed and walk my pug.

As designer de Llarena told Wired magazine, “we wanted to explore how we can use technology to improve our relationship with plants.”

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