What was once an art form of sorts has become somewhat of an antiquated skill, as touting a green thumb certainly isn't as awe-inspiring as it used to be; with gizmos like RFID-enabled terrariums, hydroponic gardens, and remote-controlled greenhouses, it shouldn't be all that difficult to keep that flora flourishing. Giving further aid to the clueless plant owner is a USB stake sensor that resides a few inches beneath the soil, and provides "information about light, moisture, soil composition and other factors that can affect plant growth and health." Start-up PlantSense has designed the intelligent stake to relay the data via USB to a subscription-based website, where it informs users what they're doing wrong (too much sunlight or not enough fertilizer, for example) as well as "providing recommendations on which plants might grow best in a particular microclimate." The self-proclaimed "lifecycle development platform" will likely sell for $49.95 (includes a stake and one year of data analysis) if it can scrounge up the necessary funds from eager VCs, while additional years of the service will run $20 -- but that's a small price to pay if your home-based garden looks more like a cemetery anyway.

[Via Engadget Chinese]