“It started from a simple idea: Can we water our plants remotely with our iPhones while traveling or off site?” de Llarena says. “We live in a ‘there’s an app for that’ age, so we wanted to explore how we can use technology to improve our relationship with plants.” Designers Huy Bui, Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena, and Jon Schramm have created a system to make your relationship with them easier. Their system, called Plant-In City, proposes to house your greenery in elegant structures that wrap them in a field of sensors to help you monitor their health.
Plant-In City is a modular series of frames that can be combined to create a customised plant habitat. There are three basic frame types — soil, water, and light-to suit your specific variety of shrub. Each type comes in a variety of sizes, meaning your habitat can range from a single box to a stackable riot of greenery. To this basic infrastructure, Plant-In City adds a variety of Arduino-powered sensors to monitor the plants and their environment. This in turn connects to the web, allowing you to care for your plants from the office or from a remote Caribbean island.