Wearable tech for houseplants – fact or fiction?

Last updated: 25 November 2019

This is the fifth in a series of posts around the Gemalto M2M Fact or Fiction quiz, which pits challengers against a series of scenarios – real or imagined – to test their M2M/IoT knowledge. If you feel ready for the quiz, by all means click here and put your mind to the test. For other posts in this M2M-focused series – click here.

We’re here today to talk to you about a serious, heinous crime that is being committed in households around the world: houseplant neglect. Houseplants are regularly left forgotten for days, as their owners, more concerned with their digital watches and smartphones, and their busy lives, neglect to water and nurture them. These sad organisms eke by miserably, eager for the rare, glistening drops of moisture you send their way when their owners find themselves with a spare, stagnant glass of drinking water …

As ever, technology finds a way. The problem of our ‘thirsty plants’ does have a technological solution. Meet Horst, the M2M-connected office plant. Regular readers may already feel they know and love Horst, of course

Horst is perhaps the first wearable tech equipped office plant. Our team in Berlin has been experimenting with one of our own Cinterion Concept Boards in an effort to make Horst M2M-connected, and has added Arduino-based sensors to monitor his status.

Using a Java application, our team is able to monitor Horst’s soil humidity, temperature and air humidity levels, among other key variables. The application can even raise an alarm if Horst needs watering and can even tweet his irrigation status, drawing our attention in – his busy carers – from. It might not be that long until Horst starts to become greedy and will tweet for water more frequently; he could even start demanding special plant food as well.

The benefits of accessorising plants in this way extend beyond taking on the problem of houseplant neglect. Just imagine what smart sensors could do for farmers around the world who need to know how well their irrigation systems are working, or to identify other problems with their harvest early enough in the season to do something about it? In fact, some farmers and agricultural research bodies are already running programmes in this vein, demonstrably increasing yield in some cases.

So, another fact that may have seemed science-fiction not too long ago, and one that highlights exactly how quickly problems can be tackled with M2M technology, a little innovation, and of course a Gemalto Cinterion Concept Board if you’re so inclined…

Did you get the M2M plant question right in our quiz? Take it here.