Grüt is a kit that helps children grow their own crops. The kit includes a set of sensors and an app. The sensors measure the condition (light, temperature and soil moisture) of the plant. This information is sent to an app that provides feedback to the kids, in the form of a virtual buddy.
How does it work?
The sensors collect data from the plant and store the data in a memory, to be sent to the app. The app shows a virtual avatar of the plant, who gives feedback to the kid about the plant's conditions. The avatar status is influenced by the sensor's data and the kids’ input. When the kid interacts with the real plant, he has to fill in his actions in the app, if they are not detectable by the sensors (for example if he cut dead leaves off the plant).
More than just growing...
During our research we discovered that children are more likely to take care of something if they develop a relationship with it and if they feel it as theirs. It's way easier to have feelings for a puppy than for a plant, that's why we want to show a plant's feelings and needs through a virtual avatar. The avatar will show to the owner what are its needs, growing a friendship relationship with him. The child will be engaged by the fact that both the avatar's and the real plant's wellbeing depends on him.
0. Environment: Everything on screen is customizable (moveable) and interactive. The light in the room and the weather displayed outside, change according to the time of day and the real climatic conditions. You can recreate the environment of your own house, where the real plant is!
1. Menu: The menu hides all the system functions. When you open the menu, you can edit your plant's profile, the room/garden currently on screen and change overall system settings.
2. Selected plant: The avatar displays the attitude/ mood of the plant through facial expressions and text bubbles. If you click on the avatar you will be asked to input certain data related to the physical conditions of the plant (amount of leaves, status of the soil and other observations). This data will be used to further determine what actions appear in the to do list, as well as the appearance of the plant and what it will tell and ask you to do!
3. To Do List: The to do list gives an overview of all the actions you must complete on a given day. All list items have a question mark at the end, that you can click if you need more information about how to perform them. When clicked, the plant will give you a brief explanation about the specific task. If you don't perform a task, the application will take note. The more you neglect the plant, the grumpier it will get. The more you keep track of the plant’s progress and performs tasks in the to do list, the happier the plant will be and the more will show affection to you!
4. Status stickers: The status stickers give a quick overview if the plant is receiving too much or too little light, water and the quality of the environmental temperature. When the plant is added to the room, its status will be shown on the stickers under the bookcase and a to do list will be generated based on data gathered by sensors and your observations.
5. The Box: The cardboard box adds other features to the app: the encyclopedia and the recipes book. The first is the knowledge base where you can find all the information you need about plant’s growth, displayed through videos and illustrations, to be easy to understand and fun. The recipes book shows recipes that are related to the plants you are growing, giving insights for a conscious consumption.
6. Polaroids: You can take pictures with both your virtual and real friends and add them to the wall by clicking on the Polaroid camera! The Polaroids themselves are draggable so you can customize your room as you want. It will also be possible to share the pictures in the main social networks.
The project, commissioned by Cisco NL, started during an internship at MediaLAB Amsterdam, where we were asked to research and try to solve one of the most important problems in modern cities, with the help of technology. After a long research, the main problem seemed to be food waste, caused by consumer's attitude. We also interviewed a lot of citizens and urban farmers, and discovered how important it is for parents to teach their children where food really comes from. Unluckily most of the time they have not enough knowledge or time to do it. Grüt aims to facilitate this teaching and make kids future conscious consumers, by knowing how much energy and time are needed to grow food.
What do you want to grow?
Each plant has its own needs! Choose the seeds you want us to send you, or use your own plant!
Each kit is made of: 1 sensor + the App + seeds of your choice!
Prototyping & User testing
During this last year we’ve developed and tested different prototypes! Here are some pictures from our photo album!
In collaboration with..
Where will you money go?
Your money will go into designing a custom sensor case with Daisy. Producing the sensors, Designing and developing the app.
For the sensor we are working in partnership with Daisy, an already successful Kickstarter project. They are currently developing a plant sensor that detects light water and temperature.
Together with them we will be making a custom sensor.
These are the specification of the hardware itself:
Sensor - Mechanicals
Daisy Dimensions – appx. 4.5” x 1.25” x 0.5”
Sensor - Electrical
Runs off two coin cells - Operation life – 3 years.
Communication – Bluetooth
Low Energy standard 4.0
Sensor - Soil Moisture
Patent pending soil moisture sensor measures true dielectric constant of soil Dielectric constant range : 4-74 +/- 1 Sensor Surface Area 3 ½ “ x 0.8” measurement surface area located on bottom front and back of sensor
Accuracy +/- 1 degree C Located at dirt level
Sensor - Light
Dynamic Range 100 – 10000 lux
Sensor - Battery
Risks and challenges
Being depended on Daisy - a fully funded Kickstarter project who are currently producing the beta version of the sensor.
We have all the pieces in place and ready to go- with your support we can make this product a reality!
- (30 days)