My bachelor graduation design, namely „Touch“, is an interactive device imitating the process of plants being touched by human with feedback of sound and light. Using living plants as the sensor, this device captures the small change of electric signal transmitted by the plant when touched by human and generates an unique response in form of sound and light, thus creating a novel way of interaction between human and plants.
„Touch“ originates from the scientific fact that the electric signal within sensitive plants will change under the influence of the environment. A living plant itself is a sophisticated sensor system. Existing designs involving plant interaction are mostly achieved by combining traditional sensors, thus causing certain damage to the plant when capturing the signal. „Touch“ sets to realise interaction process with plant as a media while not causing any damage to the plant. The image in the background, also one of the inspirations of my project, is the classical plant interaction design, „Akousmaflore“, by Scenocosme.
“Touch” is based on a customised electrical circuit for detection and amplification of signal. Controlled by an Arduino board, the device captures the change of electric signal in the plant and generates an output of sound and light according to a program written in Processing.
No external electricity is applied for stimulation, thus guaranteeing safety for both the plant and the human being at interaction. The demonstration device is composed of a bundle of flowers and a frosted vase with built-in electric circuits, light and speaker. The end of the flower bundle is immersed in the water inside the vase.
When the plant is touched by a human being, the change of electric signal with water as the media is detected and generates a feed back of light and unique sound effect. Watch video on Youtube.
“Touch“ introduces natural plant as a signal receptor into traditional interaction process, encouraging the experience of touching a plant apart from looking and smelling. When the human body is in contact with the plant, the lighting system of the vase will start to breathe with an unique sound effect, symbolising that the plant has felt the touch from the human body and expressing the special feeling of communication between living creatures with zen. As the electric signal is conducted through the water channels within the plant, the interaction can be implemented by touching any part of the plant, even the end of the flower bud.
Watch video on Youtube.