L’Internet des objets, c’est ringard. Voici l’Internet des plantes.

The internet of things. Cybernetics. The quantified self. Brain-computer interfaces. We’re wiring more and more of the physical world and the human body. But should we really extend the technification of the 21st century to the Earth’s vegetation?

For better or worse, it’s happening. Italian researchers are building a network of connected "cyborg" plants (plantborgs? cyplants? cyberflora?) to use as organic biosensors. The plants are embedded with a tiny electronic device to monitor things like pollution levels, overuse of chemicals, temperature, parasites, acid rain, and communicate the data through a wireless network back to the lab.

The project is called PLEASED, for PLants Employed As SEnsing Devices. It’s slated to finish in May, and lead researcher Andrea Vitaletti, a computer engineer at W-LAB of the University of Rome, spoke to the EU media group about the process last week. (Hat tip to Wired for digging it up.)

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