That plant that sits silently on your window shelf, it might not actually be so silent. In fact it's quite possibly trying to tell you all kinds of things, it's just you haven't got the right tools to hear it. Until now.
Plants give out tiny electrical signals and a new 'wearable' device, currently seeking funds on Kickstarter, called Phytl Signs Explorer by Swiss company Vivent, can read those signals and communicate them to you.
That plants give out electrical signals is nothing new, it was discovered in 1873 by British scientist John Burdon-Sanderson, but it's just they've never been able to be measured accurately or coherently before because they're so slight. The tech by Phytl Signs, which uses electrodes attached to the plant, one in the soil and one on the leaves or stem, can turn the signals into audible noises or analyse them as data visuals.
Turn on a speaker and, there you have it, suddenly you can hear what your plant is saying. It's not going to suddenly come out with, "Water me you bastard!" instead the noises are rather strange and otherworldly. But still, it's your plant "talking," as it were.
"Deepen the relationship with your plants." says Phytl Signs' website. "An audible or visual signal is transmitted when your plant is responding to a change in its environment. You will observe using a smart device when your plant is most active, when it is growing vigorously or if it is stressed or when it is resting."
As well as observing and bonding with your plant, the data collected from the community of users will be used to get a more coherent picture and better understanding of plants and how they communicate, which can be used to help with things like optimising growing conditions.
It's impressive, if a little surreal. No doubt a lot of hard work and science has gone into it too, but you can't help feeling they missed a trick here.
Surely translating those signals into English would've been better? Then you could truly converse with your flora.
Although, we'd probably find out that plants have hated us for centuries, because we mercilessly chop them down at a whim or rip them from the soil when we decide they're a weed.