Microsoft Research Project Florence lets you talk to Plants

Thanks to Project Florence, you can now talk to the plants in your garden. We have been hearing and reading that talking to plants or playing music near plants help them grow better. Gardeners believe that plants benefits from human conversations and respond when we talk to them.

project florence

With a belief in this popular idea of making a conversation with plants, Helene Steiner, post-doc researcher at Microsoft has created a project named Florence which lets you have a chat with the plants. Herein, a sensor-loaded plant capsule is connected to a computer and you can send messages to the plant. Wait, that’s not all, Project Florence makes the plants reply your messages too.

Project Florence from Microsoft Research

To begin with, some sensors are first connected to the leaves, roots and soil of the plant. A sensor loaded capsule is connected to your computer too. The messages you type on your computer are first mapped for the sentiment and then translated into a Morse code like series of blinks.

The sensors connected to leaves, soil and roots of the plant read the plant’s emotions and create a positive or negative message accordingly. The message is then translated into words and sent back to you as a response from the plant.

Talking about the feelings of plants, Helene Steiner, the project lead says, “We can almost create moods of the plant, and abstract the message that comes back. When I ask you as question and you’re in a really good mood the response is probably better than you’re tired. That’s why we thought natural language processing was a good way [to indicate the plant’s state].”

Steiner is still working on hardcore science and academics to understand plant’s chemical and electrical responses better.

Microsoft is pretty serious about this idea of conversation between plants and humans and is thus planning to construct an aquaponics and a hydroponics farm in the campus. This is certainly a scientific breakthrough and we are looking forward to get more on this interesting project.


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Shiwangi Peswani is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about computers and the Internet. While focusing on and writing on technology topics, her varied skills and experience enables her to write on any topics which may interest her.

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