0tegradrb.jpgMatsushita in Japan will release in December Aiterrarium, an indoor gardening system whose lighting, temperature and water supply can be remotely monitored and controlled via the Internet. (via pink tentacle.)

Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana were already doing that in 1995! Telegarden allowed web users to control a robotic arm in order to observe and tend the garden filled with living plants. During nine years, telegardeners from all over the world could plant, water, and monitor the progress of seedlings via the movements of an industrial robot arm.

More devious: Spore 1.1, by Douglas Easterly. The artist bought a rubber tree plant at Home Depot and included it in an installation connected to the Internet. The system periodically checks the value of Home Depot stock over the internet, and activates a watering system: if share values are up the plant gets watered.

Home Depot guarantees the well being of the plant for one year so if the plant dies due to either falling or rising share values it has to be replaced by the multinational!


Related: Growable Media controls the supply of water and light and thus the growth of a plant according to how often you meet a friend: if you see him/her often, corresponding plants will grow up well. But if you neglect that person, corresponding plants will wither to notify you that you’re forgetting him/her.