The PlantPetz Smart Pot Turns Ho-Hum Plants Into Lively, Dancing Friends
You grow, girl: This find from CES 2024 is reminiscent of a Big Mouth Billy Bass for your houseplants.
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year" award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Sure, some people talk to their plants (King Charles III among them), but the leafy things just don't respond in the same way that pets do. Until now, that is. An new product we spotted at CES 2024 called PlantPetz gives your up-till-now quiet houseplants personalities all their own. Think Big Mouth Billy Bass for houseplants, or those dancing, sunglasses-wearing Rock 'n Flowers from the 1980s.
Watch this: Watch These Plants Move and Coo When You Touch Them
"This thing made me happy," said CNET's Bridget Carey, who saw the product at CES on Wednesday. "I think it's going to be a great product."
PlantPetz is designed to be easy to use. Put any plant and soil in the PlantPetz planter, and insert the provided sensors in the dirt, touching the roots. One long sensor stick touching the plant gives it capacitive touch -- so when you touch the plant, it moves and reacts.
Your plant will rotate, turn and shift as its pot moves in randomized ways. It also moves to sound, so it can play and dance to music, or just react to music and sound in the home. While it's moving, it makes distinctive little cartoon sounds, almost like Star Trek's tribbles, cooing and chirping and chittering. You don't need to keep the plant near an outlet, either, as it's battery-powered.
Other sensors detect water, and if your plant is too dry, it makes bubbling sounds to let you know it's thirsty -- and it'll keep doing it until the soil is moist again.
PlantPetz won't break the bank, either: The small pot is $40, and a large pot is $60.
Astounding CES 2024 Tech Concepts We Can Hardly Wait For
There's also a flower vase for $45. In this case, if you touch a bouquet in the vase or talk to it, it spins around and will also play any pre-recorded message. You could give someone flowers for a special occasion, and the bouquet could announce your congratulatory or birthday message every time your recipient touches the flowers.
PlantPetz have been in development for five years, and made their global debut at CES. They're in production now and should be available soon.
How can we ever gift a normal plant now that we can make it into a lively little pet?