Chat with Plants in the Botanical Garden

Camille Charluet
September 5th 2017

Ever wanted to have a chat with a plant? If so, make sure to visit the botanical gardens of The Netherlands. Exploring methods to better connect people to the natural world, Waag Society, in collaboration with the Dutch Botanical Gardens Association, have developed an app that allows visitors to talk with plants.

The app, called Hortus Chat, was designed as part of the Planting the Future project, a co-creation by various Dutch botanical gardens, aspiring to boost the collaboration between the gardens themselves and broaden the diversity of visitors. Waag Society’s objective was to "make the invisible visible", enabling interaction and delivering insight into plants that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Aimed at a young demographic with an interest in plants but little knowledge about them, Hortus Chat allows visitors to select the plants they want to meet upon entering the garden. When visitors approach the selected plant, they receive a message from that plant and the conversation takes off. The app uses a combination of catalogue information and dialogue customized by the gardens. Users can also share pictures of the plants within the app, offering future visitors the possibility to observe the various stages of a plants life.

Apps such as Hortus Chat demonstrate technology's ability to bring people closer to nature than ever before. The future is filled with possibilities for technology to strengthen human’s awareness and connection with nature, and it's about time we start exploring them.

Source: Waag Society

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