In the future we’ll be able to control almost anything remotely

Lighting, electrical appliances, central heating – all of it will be at your fingertips, wherever you are, courtesy of your mobile phone or laptop.

ipad and terrarium

In fact, the technology to make this happen has been around for some time, and much of it is already in circulation. What's more, mobile apps to control almost every aspect of your day-to-day life look set to become commonplace in the next few years, with ever more inventive ones being added all the time.

Well, how about this for the latest piece of remote-controlled gadgetry? Interior concept designer Samuel Wilkinson has recently developed a plant vivarium that is controlled entirely using your iPhone or iPad. Vivariums are glass-enclosed spaces for cultivating plants and flowers, allowing the creation of a self-contained environment in which they can be displayed like an ornament.


In Wilkinson’s vivarium (dubbed ‘The Biome’), environmental parameters ranging from interior temperature to water levels and even lighting can be tweaked using the custom iPhone/iPad software, allowing users to monitor the wellbeing of a miniature ecosystem from anywhere in their home. While that might seem like a rather complex responsibility to undertake, the idea behind the project is to create a game-like interface that uses modern technology in a way that stretches beyond the technology itself.

Unlike the instant gratification of most modern entertainment, changes made in The Biome will only yield gradual results, giving a sense of prolonged satisfaction and continued purpose. Unfortunately, the product is still in prototype stages at the minute, and is not available for purchase. However, judging by the reaction it got when it was first unveiled at the Slow Tech Exhibition at this year’s London Design Festival, it could be an item for your Christmas wish list in less time than you think.

All images © Samuel Wilkinson

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