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Hearing the Voice of Plants: PlantWave and the New Harmony of the Natural World

PlantWave is a device that converts the minute electrical signals of plants into sound, which can then be listened to. The technology used in this device is the same as that used in polygraph devices developed to measure human skin electrical response (GSR).

Hearing the Voice of Plants

What is a polygraph device?

A polygraph device is commonly known as a lie detector.

This device measures a person's physical reactions (heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductivity, etc.).

When a person lies, these body reactions can spontaneously change, and these changes can be recorded and analyzed.

Skin Electrical Response (GSR)

GSR, also called "cutaneous galvanic response," is a method of measuring the electrical conductivity of the skin.

When humans sweat due to emotions or reactions, the electrical conductivity of the skin changes. GSR is used to capture this.

Hearing the Voice of Plants: PlantWave and the New Harmony of the Natural World

PlantWave Principle

Using sensors to transmit signals

PlantWave has two sensors. These are attached to the plant and measure how much moisture the plant contains.

Sensing photosynthesis

When plants photosynthesize, the water in them moves; PlantWave senses this minute movement of water and displays it on a graph.

From graph to sound

As the graph changes over time, it takes the form of waves, which PlantWave analyzes and converts into sound.

Playing Plants

When this waveform is converted into music, it is as if the plant is playing an instrument, and the PlantWave app provides special instruments that plants can play.

Generating Music

When everything is smoothly connected, you will hear music from the plants. If the plants are inactive, little or no music can be heard, or the sound can be monotonous.

Below is a video of the plants we experimented with.

Camellia japonica(Camellia sasanqua)

PlantWave allows us to translate plant responses into a human-perceivable form, allowing us to enjoy the music of plants as it changes with temperature, light, and moisture levels. A noticeable change in the pattern of music produced by plants from morning to evening was observed, and the difference in sound before and after pruning was also an interesting finding.

Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)

Do Plants Have Intelligence?

Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, naturalist, and science communicator best known for his work on the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life.

His classic work, "Cosmos," was a best-selling science book, explaining broad topics in science in a way that was accessible to a general audience.

His work has sparked interest in science and influenced many people. Similarly, PlantWave promotes dialogue with plants and serves to increase awareness of the natural environment.

A 1997 Nature article by Suzanne Simard focused on communication between trees and their fungal networks.

This system, which she named the "woodwide web," found that trees connect with each other and share nutrients through underground fungal networks.

The interaction between mycorrhizal fungi and trees is critical to the growth and health of trees in the forest. Simard's research has shown that trees in forests have not only competitive relationships, but also cooperative interactions.

For example, young trees in less sunny areas may receive carbon and other nutrients via fungal networks from mature trees in more sunny areas.

Smilax china

Information sharing in the plant kingdom indicates that plants cooperate and coexist with each other, exchanging information throughout the ecosystem to build a sustainable environment. This system of information sharing is part of the amazing harmony and coordination in nature and is a source of learning for us all.

As our understanding of the plant creature grows, so does our appreciation and wonder for all life around us.

 PlantWave and the New Harmony of the Natural World

In this way, PlantWave has become a valuable tool for deepening our understanding of nature by sensing minute changes in plants and communicating them to humans, creating a new connection between plants and humans.

We hope that PlantWave will help landscape architects deepen their awe of the beauty and vitality of the natural world, and encourage them to consider the possibility that plants have intelligence as well.

It was very interesting to try converting the music generated by PlantWave into a video using WZRDAI.


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