VIDEO: Disney Research’s ‘Botanicus Interacticus’ Makes Plantlife Interactive

Botanicus Interacticus from Disney ResearchWhile Disney Research Zurich prepares to present its face cloning for audio animatronic use at SIGGRAPH today, Disney Research Pittsburgh is demonstrating its own new technology which allows converting any isolated plant into an interactive experience, allowing computers to detect where a human touches the plant.

Dubbed ‘Botanicus Interacticus: Interactive Plant Technology,’ the technology, which is based on the Touche technology introduced earlier this year, allows a single electrical wire to be inserted in soil. The wire transmits a frequency sweep between .1 and 3 Mhz which allows the area in which the plant is touched to be estimated without causing any damage to the plant itself.

Gestures such as sliding fingers, touching specific leaves, user proximity or amount of touch can be detected and mapped to perform computer-controlled functions. Disney Research hopes the technology (which works equally well with artificial plants) can be used to encourage activity between people and their environments as well as each other by ‘enhancing living, working and social spaces to make them responsive, intelligent and adaptive.’

‘Botanicus Interacticus,’ which is being demonstrated at SIGGRAPH at an exhibit which uses the Pepper’s Ghost illusion to project a computer-generated response to samples including bamboo, orchid, cactus and snake plant with each plant presented it is unique interactive and visual character.

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