Interacting digitally with nature – As part of the Digtaltage Winterthur 2020, Earlybyte was one of 15 companies to develop the “Plantoid”, a three-meter-high digital tree that you can interact with. The project connects the digital with the physical world and symbolizes the current discussion about digitalization and sustainability – two topics that are becoming increasingly important.
Our Partner – Digital Winterthur
The Digital Winterthur association was founded to transform Winterthur into a digital and sustainable city of the future; the location should become attractive for people and companies with a vision. The focus lies on Smart Health, Smart Energy, and Industry 4.0 – future-oriented topics.
Once a year, the association organizes the Digitaltage Winterthur, which offers an exchange platform for forward-looking parties from politics, business, science, and education. Symbolically, the idea of the “Plantoid” was developed as an intersection between the digital and the physical world.
From intersection to interactivity – the digital twin
Earlybyte was commissioned to digitize the Plantoid and provide it with interactive functions. To do this, Charles Chojnowski and Remo Höppli used their Art-Net skills and IoT know-how to construct a digital twin and control the light and music through it. As a result, visitors to the Digitaltage Winterthur were given the opportunity to design the Plantoid with their designs and share them with others.
As a symbol of digitalization and sustainability, the Plantoid has various features:
- Community: The plantoid visualizes the ideas of different people and lives from their contributions.
- Interaction: The plantoid encourages interaction by allowing data to be exchanged or images to be uploaded, and the tree to react to them.
- Communication: Under #plantoid, pictures could be uploaded, which the plantoid incorporated into its lighting.
- Donation: Through smart contracts, the plantoid collected money to support CO2-positive projects.
Impact – Digitization & Sustainability
The project promotes the discourse on digitality in connection with sustainability. The Plantoid is not only representative of these two topics: The interactivity proves that environmentally friendly solutions are possible digitally and only together in a community. At the same time, it shows that nature and digital life can be united.
The Plantoid was very well received by the visitors to the Digitaltage Winterthur and people were eager to interact with it. Through a playful way of programming, the communicating people were not only introduced to the digital world but also have shown the potential of these industries – a complete success for the organizers.
However, the three-meter-high digital tree is not the end of the “Plantoid”. In the near future, it is planned to expand and enlarge it so that the original design by Christian Hungerbühler and Alwin Meyer can develop physically and digitally.
«Thanks to their know-how in IoT and the control of the LEDs, the Plantoid lights up and arouses people’s interest in the Digitaltage Winterthur.»