If you’re a greenthumb in spirit but just can’t keep your favorite leafy pets alive, fret not – the answer to your problems has arrived in a clever new human/plant communication project. Four students from NYU’s infamous ITP program – Robert Faludi, Kate Hartman, Kati London and Rebecca Bray – have recently devised a brilliant solution to keep you from throwing in the trowel on gardening altogether. Dubbed Botanicalls, the innovative concept establishes a way for thirsty plants to effectively communicate their needs to humans – by placing phone calls to their owners.

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Utilizing moisture sensors – which are attached to the plants – as well as an open-source telephony application called Asterisk, the programmed software triggers Asterisk to call a designated number whenever a plant needs watering. Upon answering the call, the plant owner is treated to an audio file – or the so-called ‘voice of the plant’ – which describes exactly what it needs. Botanicalls opens a new channel of communication between plants and humans, in an effort to promote successful inter-species cohabitation and understanding. At the moment, the Botanicalls project is being experimentally conducted on 10 plants. To talk to the plants yourself call Botanicalls at 212. 202. 8348.

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