Innovation That Matters

Smart living app

Art student creates unique app to make us better our habits

Work & Lifestyle

New app takes smart living to a new level by linking a plant's watering routine to your own fitness, sleep or dieting schedules.

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Phabit is a connected plant pot that has been created by Jen-Hsien Chiu, a student at the Royal College of Art, and is designed to help the owner develop better habits. The idea came from Chiu’s own struggle to attend the gym regularly. He believes that if something living is reliant on someone keeping to regular habits to survive, then one is more likely to develop a healthy and beneficial routine.

The system includes an app that takes a personality quiz, giving the user a range of scenarios and then analyses their answers. This gives the system the knowledge to place the user in one of four categories – Upholder, Rebel, Obliger or Questioner. By doing this, it’s easier for the app to understand the challenges the user faces, and in turn, then offers the help they need to succeed.

The app also uses GPS tracking, so unless the user leaves their phone at the gym, it’ll be able to accurately deduce if they’ve been keeping to their schedule – and it’s only by keeping to the schedule that the plant receives the water and sunlight needed for its survival.

In a similar vein, last year a company used a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a wifi-connected water bottle. This features a virtual pet that gets fed when children reach a daily preset goal for drinking. In France they made a smart cigarette box that connects to the user’s phone and only lets them get a set amount of cigarettes per day. Are there any other habits (good or bad) that could be controlled by smart technology?




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