Callum BoothManaging Editor
Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.
At no point has technology ever been used for anything shady. Social media, smartphones and video game chat channels all show that humanity can, in fact, be trusted. This is why I’m absolutely certain there’s no chance whatsoever that people will use ‘smart gardens’ to grow weed.
Recently launched on Indiegogo, PlantHive is a device that provides your favourite foliage with everything it needs to survive and thrive inside your own home. All you need to do is plant a seed, pick a climate from the app and PlantHive does the rest.
How does it do this? Using Google’s TensorFlow – an open source machine learning framework – in conjunction with PlantHive’s cameras, the device tracks the health of the crop and adjusts the light and water levels accordingly. Presumably, this ‘AI’ will evolve and deliver better results (and bigger buds?) over time.
The founders of PlantHive say the idea of the ‘smart garden’ came from a simple question: “can you grow strawberries in your living room in the middle of winter?”
Well, they’ve solved that problem, I guess. Their marketing collateral declares that you can grow – *wink wink* – leafy greens, aromatic herbs and medicinal plants, all hydroponically or using soil.
No mention of the devil’s lettuce though, so we just decided to ask them what everyone is thinking.
With PlantHive looking to retail for €649 once fully launched, it’s an expensive way to (occasionally) hit your five-a-day. It would seem that the most cost-effective use of the device is to have your own hands-free grow-op, limiting your trips to a Coffee Shop or, more likely, your dealer.
“People, indeed, often ask us if you can grow marijuana in the PlantHive,” says Vasileios Vallas, PlantHive’s CEO and Founder.
So, it turns out we’re not the first people to see its potential as a micro pot farm then. Talking with Vasileios, he said that the PlantHive is a “perfect environment” to “effortlessly” grow marijuana with. The only thing to look out for – aside from the cops – are the plants “outgrowing the device,” something you can solve by looking for a strain that blooms into something “small and bushy”.
On the topic of the police, Vasileios does make a point of saying that users should check their local law regarding home-growing marijuana before they decide to become the Old McDonald of doobies.
With the PlantHive’s AI-assisted care feature working for weed, maybe all the doom and gloom about the robo-apocalypse is misplaced – they might just want to get us stoned.
You can purchase beta or gamma PlantHive models on Indiegogo right now, so hit it up if you fancy 100% totally no way whatsoever growing weed in your home.
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