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And the plants started talking...

This is neither a miracle nor a white lie as a Japanese company has designed a playful gadget purported to express the feeling of plants.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2006 19:53 IST
Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse

Japanese romantics will have the chance to hear some truly flowery language with the help of a playful gadget purported to express the feelings of plants.

Through the voice of a small doll, the device will share what the plant is supposedly thinking when a person strokes it.

The "Hanakotoba", or "Communication Flower", consists of a small rod topped with a fairy figurine that can be put inside a potted plant or vase of water.

When the owner touches the stem or leaves, a small electric current passes from the rod through a wire to a small doll.

"What a beautiful day!" the doll, wearing a green vest and cone hat, will say once the flower is touched, or "Let's stay friends forever!"

Hanakotoba has up to 200 different phrases, some as potentially uncomfortable as "Do you have a boyfriend?"

The gadget, made by Japanese toymaker E-revolution, is the latest creation of Masahiko Kajita, who scored a smash hit in 2002 with "Bowlingual" -- a dog collar said to interpret canine barking.

He said the Hanakotoba was meant to tap a female market.

"I created translators for cats and dogs, which were a big success among men, so I was searching for a similar success among females, and since women love flowers, I decided to work on them," he said.

"This toy doesn't use a single dirty or aggressive word, unlike Bowlingual," he said.

But the plant can still become angry. If the device senses there is insufficient water, the doll says in a shrill voice: "Come on, what are you looking at? Give me more water!"

The toy was released this month at 4,179 yen (35 dollars) each and, if successful in Japan, will make its way abroad, the company said.

First Published: Dec 28, 2006 19:53 IST