Botanicus Interacticus

Ok, Disney Research is up to some crazy shit. Interactive Plant Technology:

This next one is comparatively straightforward, but don't miss the squirrel dance starting around 3:38:

Tags: , , , ,

18 Responses:

  1. Mattias says:

    I love the "specific interaction scenario" at 1:53 that involves touching a cactus. The user interface should hurt the user!

    • Enid says:

      Yes! That cracked me up.

    • Will be a key feature of GNOME 4.

    • James says:

      I can't see how a bulky plant like a cactus would work with this. Any capacitance changes wouldn't be localized. It has to be a joke, and as such it's funny.

      I imagine future lazyweb requests: "Does the new DNA Lounge Calendar work with a ficus? Someone threw up and peed on the one we had here...."

  2. Wim Deprez says:

    Is this for real? Or just a presentation with future projections?

    I am baffled...

  3. 205guy says:

    I am just not that impressed with Disney today. This looks just like one of those touch-lamps I have in my living room (touch the metal anywhere to change some circuit which gets detected and turns on/off the light). The multi-frequency sensing that allows them to detect a two-dimensional input (distance and intensity) is the only improvement I can see. All the rest (sound and video and gamification and some nice learning heuristics) is just the software response to those 2 dimensional inputs. So my response would be: nice software, just release it as an iPad (2d-touch) app for my kid to play with.

    The makey-makey device is similar but not as sophisticated: it uses a lead for each touch (one dimension) and requires a connection through the trigger (wrist strap electrode or foil touch pad). The touch-lamp and "interactive-enabled" plants work without creating a circuit--my novice explanation is that when you touch it, your body creates an antenna that changes the circuit enough to detect.

    • jwz says:

      Come on, they turned a house plant into a theremin. What have you done this week?

      I suspect there's a Wonka image that's appropriate here.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah! And those NASA guys just use a carefully selected fuel/oxidizer combination and some in-house guidance software (which they should release so I can run it on 4 Soekris machines with CARP) to put payloads into orbit; it's so obvious.

    • 205guy says:

      Me? I hacked their software so that when you break the stem of the plant, you get rewarded with Bill and Ted's excellent riff, 1000 freqent flyer miles, a coupon for 20% off in-stream advertising on the social network du jour, and the plant avatar on-screen grows back and thrives (and grows dollar bill leaves). Bwahahaha, and if it weren't for those meddling kids, I would've gotten away with it.

      OK, me, I don't have an international partnership between a world-wide entertainment company and prestigious institutons of higher learning, so all I managed was to unclog my bathtub, build a wooden shelf, and make some snarky comments online.

      Look, I'll give them credit for the idea that interacting with (softwre that takes capacitance input through) plants might be entertaining. But it just seems wrong to treat a plant as a virtual something, and not as a plant. What's next, a box on a collar that let's you treat you pet as a tamagochi?

      btw, the second video looks like a kinect hack.

      • jwz says:

        I also cleaned my bathtub this week, which was a long time coming, but despite my lack of public funds on this project, I still think turning a plant into a theremin is kinda neat.

  4. Sheilagh says:

    And then the plants figured out Morse Code and started signaling back.
    "hey, that tickles!"
    "please pet the 3rd leaf on the right, thanks"

  5. Bill Paul says:

    Say it with flowers: give your love a triffid.

  6. Jake Nelson says:

    2:11 in the first video: "From the viewpoint of our sensor, there is no difference between living and artificial."

    And I said, "Ah, there's the foreshadowing of doom I was waiting for."

  7. LionsPhil says:

    I can't help but feel that I'm watching clips from Look Around You when a hand from offscreen starts playing synthesiser music on a houseplant.

  8. adam alpern says:

    Also from Disney, I believe this is relevant to your interests. it's teapots all the way down!