Connective Tangible Interface, 2018
ideation / interaction design / illustration / arduino coding
The Telepot is a two-way telecommunic-ation plant pot that lets two persons who are physically separated grow plants together.
Telepots works as a pair, which contain seeds of the same kind. When one Telepot is watered, it detects the water and converts the stimulus into electronic signals that are transmitted to its paired Telepot through the internet. The signal triggers the paired Telepot’s built-in watering system to water itself. This way, linked Telepots are watered together. The Telepot is a cumulative term for the telecommunicative pot and the plant contained within it.
The Telepot is a proposition for a physical communication device which can transfer physical impulses such as touch, heat, movement or life, compared to common virtual communications such as sound, text and image. In a Telepot, the plant functions as the physical organic mediator between two people. Though water is what is transferred from one Telepot to another, this water in effect gives life to the plant in the linked Telepot.
The health of a Telepot pair may be a physical metaphor of the health of the relationship of the owners. In order to maintain healthy Telepots the owners must have a protocol for watering the Telepots, and actively follow the regimen. Otherwise, the Telepot will be over-watered or under-watered in which case, will result in an unhealthy plant. To partake in a regimen with physical consequences together means to share responsibility.
In the presence of responsibility, consistently following a regimen to tend for a Telepot can communicate care. In the reverse situation, it can communicate neglect. It can also generate a sense of trust, or distrust. Segregated individuals cannot partake in physical activities together and their virtual interactions are often weightless as they can rarely have real physical consequences. The Telepot enables long-distance interactions to acquire physical action and consequences.