It’s not often, if at all, that you’ll see someone turn off a light by reaching out and touching a plant sitting on the table. Common sense tells us that’s because plants aren’t light switches—until now. German designer Viktor Kölbig has created a house plant/table lamp hybrid, like some kind of Dr. Moreau of home furnishings, that lets you control a light using the interface of a plant.
The project is called Aura and lets you control LEDs by touching a plant or flower—it uses invisible sensors so you can touch an area of the plant and the light can be dimmed or the color changed. The plant rests in a glass vase that sits atop a milled aluminum case embedded with LED lights, which are controlled by a hidden, separate microcontroller. I’d like 50 for every room in my house.