World's oldest land plants turn smart tech into a relaxing mini forest

World's oldest land plants turn smart tech into a relaxing mini forest
By: New Atlas Posted On: May 24, 2024 View: 34

What does a 450-million-year old land plant have to do with waking you up for work in the morning? Unless you're sleeping on a forest floor, we'd say not a whole lot. Moss Echo is out to change all that, bringing ancient nature into the modern home in a rather clever little gadget.

The Moss Echo, as the name hints at, has actual moss growing on it. But it's not just a mini garden; it's a handy home device that keeps time, works as an alarm clock and includes Bluetooth connectivity for playing music or podcasts, with a customizable LED display that's programmed through a smartphone app.

But onto the star of this show, the moss. The rootless plant sits on a replaceable moss filter, which surrounds the network of LED bulbs. But far from just an aesthetic gimmick, Moss Echo has been created by its team to act as a powerful purifier, with the plant's tiny leaf-like structures – called phyllids – absorbing pollutants and then releasing clean air back into the environment.

Moss Echo | Connect with Nature

The Moss Echo also comes with plenty of nature-themed features, like a sleep mode that plays relaxing sounds of the great outdoors to help you drift off, and an alarm clock that'll wake you up in an equally gentle way. (Don't worry, there are also more traditional alarms if you need to be jolted awake, too.)

For anyone who has experienced a moss takeover in the garden or on the lawn, you'll know that these plants are extremely adaptable and hardy – so this means minimal work to keep your Echo alive. The moss here can survive for six months without water, but we don't recommend depriving your little air-quality helpers of a drink; the creators suggest giving the fuzzy screen a spritz a couple of times a day (there's a bottle included in the kit, too).

The moss filter is easy to care for – even if you don't have the best luck with traditional house plants
The moss filter is easy to care for – even if you don't have the best luck with traditional house plants

MossLab

However, if your brown thumb does strike, makers MossLab have replacement filters that click into the device's frame, for an additional cost. If watered, even irregularly, the moss should stay happy and healthy for many years.

Light Pole technology that provides the display among the moss won't hurt the greenery, either. MossLab research claims it boosts photosynthesis efficiency by 20%, which means the device will be more than happy to be positioned in a room that doesn't get much natural light.

While the customizable skins – which include cute animated animals and other settings – will probably be amusing for about an hour, there are some clever settings that make this a great bedside clock. In sleep mode, lighting and sound will steadily decrease over 30 minutes, and you can tweak the wind-down duration and what accompanies it (visuals, nature sounds, sleep-friendly music). Yes, 'rain on a roof' is in the library.

From forest sounds to gentle rain on a roof, the soundscapes are designed to help you drift off to sleep
From forest sounds to gentle rain on a roof, the soundscapes are designed to help you drift off to sleep

MossLab

There are also some personalizing add-ons, like switching up the look with different wood and metal frames, for an additional price.

New to Kickstarter, the Moss Echo is available for US$179, which is 40% off expected retail. Included in the pack is a white or black unit, USB-C cable and a sleek water spray bottle. The usual crowdfunding cautions apply, but if all goes to plan, shipping worldwide is due to begin in November.

Source: Kickstarter

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