Has your fast-paced, technology-driven life got you feeling out of touch with nature? There could soon be an app for that.
Created by London-based designer Samuel Wilkinson, "Biome" is a futuristic-looking flora terrarium whose climate conditions, water level, and nutrients are all controlled via an application that runs on tablets and smartphones; it's sort of like a real-life Tamagotchi, except that when you forget to tend to Biome, there's real plant life at stake.
Wilkinson explains the motivation behind the terrarium, a creation he describes as a piece of "slow tech":
The idea promotes "digital downtime" by finding an alternative use for smartphones and encouraging their owners to consider a slower life. The control and nurturing of a real mini eco-system takes patience and care, contrasting with the immediacy of messaging or tweeting that is so characteristic of the smartphone generation.
Using technology to fight technology and put us in touch with nature? I'll admit — it sounds totally backwards. Who's to say that an activity as rustic as tending to your plants wouldn't quickly become as touch-and-go as updating twitter, or playing Animal Farm from your desk at work? Call me cynical, but if you can monitor and control your Biome from anywhere, what's to keep you from incorporating its care into the rest of your hectic, technology-driven life?
Of course, it could also be totally brilliant. Just you wait — when we're colonizing Mars and all tending to our personal vegetable gardens via our iBody implants, somebody's probably going to happen upon this post and scoff.