Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I'll Call Before I...

A group of postgraduate students at the Tisch School of The Arts at NYU are working on a system that allows your house plants to alert you, by telephone, when they're in need of watering or sunshine. It's called Botanicalls, it equips plants with a sensor to monitor soil moisture and light exposure. If the plant needs something, a wireless signal that connects through the Internet to an open-source phone system, Asterisk, launches a phone call based on the information sent by...the plant.

That's crazy, and really kind of cool. As cool as it is, we can't help but populate a list of other things we wish would call and leave friendly reminders of their needs, existence and required errands.

1. My remote control: It's a cliche. I know. But, when I do have time to watch TV, it would be nice if the remote (which, inevitably, finds its way into the deep dark recesses of my couch cushions/under my bed/behind the TV) would announce its location.

2. My significant other: Yes, they generally have mouths and make calls already. It seems that they never really say anything of any significance.

3. Anything that requires batteries or charging: My iPOD is old. It dies on me constantly. It would be nice to get a heads up before I've entered my morning commute.

4. Your pet: I've had some goldfish incidents...

5. Your body. Haven't you ever gone through a super busy day without eating? Rushed to a meeting without brushing your teeth? Gone to bed without taking off your eye makeup? Forgotten to take your pill or vitamins? It would be nice to have little reminders here and there to foster the basic human need to take good care of yourself!

Yes, those would be nice. But hey, it's new technology. We'll see where it goes.

-The Coup Magazine

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