Because what good is a houseplant if it can't be used to change the channel real quick from the adult movie you were watching when your roommate comes home unexpected, scientists at Disney Research in Pittsburgh have developed a system that turns plants into gesture-based controllers. You know, because regular controllers are just such a hassle. Now houseplants -- that's the logical choice.
Botanicus Interacticus isn't a regular touchscreen interface, though. An electrode connected to a special wire is placed in the soil and runs along the plant. This allows precise gestures to be detected and then mapped on a computer. The researchers say this won't harm the plant, especially not a fake one.
LOL @ "won't harm the plant, especially not a fake one." Yeah, it's pretty hard TO KILL A FAKE PLANT. Don't get me wrong, I've done it before, it just took months of dedicated neglect.
Thanks to Evil Ares and Ryan, who change channels the old fashioned way: asking a roommate to do it.