Meet Lua, The Tamagotchi-Like Smart Planter
Lua is a technologically advanced smart planter that turns your plant into a pet, with multiple moods to tell you exactly what it needs.
Not all of us have green thumbs and the use of a Lua planter is an easy way to ensure that we keep our precious plants alive. The smart planter has been designed to turn your plant into a virtual pet and with the use of sensors, it is able to communicate 15 universal animated emotions.
The Lua planter was developed by Mu Design, a company based in Luxembourg that is aiming to create an emotive branch of the Internet of Things (IoTs) in order to generate a human-friendly interaction with advanced technological tools.
Mu Design has previously created a range of other products including Ulo, an interactive home monitoring owl that acts as a surveillance camera and features expressive eyes.
The Lua planter is similar to the popular children's toy, the tamagotchi, which was created in the mid-1990s. Tamagotchi owner-users had a virtual pet in their pocket that communicated to them when it was hungry, tired or needed the bathroom. Needless to say, it was a 90s kids' favourite.
Similarly, the Lua's built-in mechanisms measure the soil's moisture, light exposure and temperature to ensure that the plant in it is kept healthy. The adorable planter is available in two different colours, Eggplant and Sunflower.
The interactive Lua smart planter has five senses that detect movement, a QR code reader, temperature, movement, exposure and moisture.
Out of the 15 animations, six are dedicated to communicating the plant's health – from vampire mode, which is represented with little fangs and means the plant has not been exposed to enough light – to 'breaking a sweat' when it is too hot.
The nine other animations are representative of the plant's mood and range from happy to sad, and even include a tongue sticking out as it 'wakes up'.
Lua's motion tracker feature is enacted by 'wake up' mode and detects movement. It then follows it with its animated eyes. If nothing further happens aside from the movement, Lua lulls itself back to sleep.
The interactive modes and quirky emotions allows Lua to make the plant it contains seem more than just a plant and more like a member of the family. Lua is equipped with a sub-irrigation water reservoir that optimises the amount of water the plant takes in, minimising the number of times it requires watering.
How does it work?
To activate Lua, an app has been developed and can be downloaded onto your mobile device. The Lua app is easy to use and free, allowing for the simple setup of the smart planter.
After downloading the app, users must choose the type of plant they are placing in the planter from six options, including foliage, tree, succulent/cacti, fern, flowering plant or a climber. With use of the app, the face of the planter can be customised to adjust the size of its eyes or smile. To link Lua to the app and activate its features, users simply use the app to scan the QR code on the smart planter: Lua then saves and makes use of the settings that have been inputted into the app.
An internet connection is only required when setting up Lua, which is able to work offline with the app.
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Although Lua is currenly in the prototype phase, pre-orders can be made on Indiegogo, an online platform that showcases new and technologically innovative products.
Currently the smart planter is on special and available for about R1616, with an estimated shipping date of December 2019. If Mu Design is able to obtain a surplus of offers for the device, additional features will be added to advance Lua's offering.