Botanicus Interacticus: Interactive Plant Technology
Disney Research, Pittsburgh
Botanicus Interacticus is a technology for designing highly expressive interactive plants, both living and artificial. Driven by the rapid fusion of computing and living spaces, we take interaction from computing devices and places it in the physical world using livings plants as an interactive medium.
Botanicus Interacticus has a number of unique properties. This instrumentation of living plants is simple, non-invasive, and does not damage the plants: it requires only a single wire placed anywhere in the plant soil. Botanicus Interacticus allows for rich and expressive interaction with plants. It allows to use such gestures as sliding fingers on the stem of the orchid, detecting touch and grasp location, tracking proximity between human and a plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact, among others.
In Botanicus Interacticus we also deconstruct the electrical properties of plants and replicate them using standard electrical components. This allows the design of a broad variety of biologically inspired artificial plants that behave nearly the same as their biological counterparts. From the point of view of our technology there is no difference between real and artificial.
Botanicus Interacticus technology can be used to design highly interactive responsive environments based on plants, developing new forms of organic, living interaction devices as well as creating organic ambient and pervasive interfaces.
Exhibitions and Publications
By using a visual illusion produced by placing a half-silver mirror in front of the display, interactive computer images augment a living plants and dynamically change in response to the user interaction with a real plant. A range of real and artificial plants such as bamboo, orchid, cactus and snake plant were explored, where each plant presented it is unique interactive and visual character [Video].
Team and Credits
The Botanicus Interacticus is being developed at Disney Research by Ivan Poupyrev in collaboration with Philipp Schoessler, Jonas Loh/Studio NAND, and Munehiko Sato. The project is based on Touché sensing technology invented and developed earlier at Disney Research, Pittsburgh.
ivan.poupyrev [at] disneyresearch [dot] com | @ipoupyrev