Sunday, November 09, 2008

Blogging Lessons

I think I need to take blogging lessons from a plant. In Kamakura there's a cafe' called Bowls where you'll find the world's first blogging houseplant, Midori-san. (If you click on "About" there is an English section that explains more.)

Here is a bit of what is says:

"This product is the world first (!?) “blogging houseplant”, produced by KAYAC Co., Ltd. and Satoshi Kuribayashi at the Keio University Hiroya Tanaka Laboratory who developed “the plant interface system”, which is the foundation of this product.

The system, to post Midori-san’s thoughts online, uses surface potential sensors to read the weak bioelectric current flowing across the surface of the leaves.

At DONBURI CAFE DINING bowls, you can see the blogging houseplant Midori-san. If you touch her gently, she’ll tell you the chemistry between you.

Even at home, you can see the activity of Midori-san and activating a web-controlled fluorescent lamp, treat a dose of light either through the website or the widget."

How friggin' cool is that?

And she updates almost daily. I really do have so much to learn.

These Keio University students have attached sensors to Midori-san's leaves, developed some algorithm to read and understand her thoughts, and then translate them into Japanese. The set up looks like this:

If you stop by the cafe' you can take your picture with her, send it in, and she'll post the photo of the two of you on her blog. You can also give her a blast of juicy fluorescent light just by clicking on the light-giving widget and she'll respond at the end of her blog with a "Today's Thank Yous" link to everyone who made her feel great.

She blogs things like the weather, temperature, humidity, how she's feeling, how busy the cafe' was, stuff like that.

And she's got a huge fan-base, too. She says there are sometimes lines outside just waiting to get in!