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September 14, 2004

No plant left behind


Flower Sound

A Japanese company has developed a way of turning plants into audio speakers, USA Today reports.

"Called Ka-on, which means "flower sound" in Japanese, the machine consists of a donut-shaped magnet and coil at the base of a vase that hooks up to a CD player, stereo or TV. Place the flowers in the vase, turn on Ka-on and the magnet and coil relay the sound vibrations up the stems through the plant's water tubes."

And the plant trembles.

Later on this month (the company says) you'll be able to carry on a telephone conversation with the plant. And soon a wireless connection will be available for piping music to the Ka-on.

This is not nature speaking a computational language and answering questions of fundamental theoretical and experimental interest, as Neil Gershenfeld, director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, speaks of it. It's us doing what we want with nature yet again. No wonder the poor plant trembles!...

Posted by newradio at September 14, 2004 06:21 PM