This Smart Bonsai Follows You Around, Quotes Goethe, In TDK’s Vision Of The Future

Bonsai. The ancient Japanese art of producing miniature trees in small containers. Contemplative and philosophical (the art was associated with Zen Buddhism in its early history following the influence of its Chinese antecedent, penzai), bonsai seems to embody the qualities often associated with “old” Japan: aesthetic refinement, harmony with nature, unchanging traditions.

h/t: grapee

In other words, it’s the perfect subject for conceptual artists trying to create startling juxtapositions between the old and the new, the analog past and the digital future.

And now, as part of a technology showcase project, TDK proposes the ultimate in hi-tech bonsai: Introducing BonsAI (pronounced “Bons A.I.”). If we are to believe in the vision proposed by their promotional video below, BonsAI is an autonomously mobile bonsai plant with built-in AI.

Not only does it alert you when it’s thirsty, it can follow you around your Zen temple and have a conversation with you. Most impressively, it can even answer questions about the meaning of life and seems to be fond of quoting Goethe: “What is important in life is life and not the result of life.”

BonsAI main features

Communicate: Since bonsai live longer than humans, they are wise. BonsAI contains wisdom from all over the world and is good at giving advice.

Take in sunlight: When it finds itself in the shadows, it moves on its own accord in search of sunlight. Its LED lights blink happily when it is under the sun.

Ask for water: When it is thirsty, it seeks out water and blinks its lights excitedly when it is watered. If you think of it as a pet, you may learn to love your BonsAI.

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