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Top of the pots

Industrial design student Natalie King has drafted a pot that glows and shakes when the plant needs attention

A student has invented what might be the world's cleverest plant pot: a container that lights up and vibrates when the plant needs attention.

Natalie King's "Tulipe" pot glows red whenever the plant is in danger of getting too hot, cold, dry or is positioned in a place that is too dark or too light.

King, 22, designed the pot to help people such as her partially sighted grandfather continue to produce healthy plants. But it may also be a useful reminder for gardeners who are not very diligent when it comes to looking after plants.

The pot contains sensors in the base, which detect levels of moisture, temperature and light. If they fall below or above the optimum levels, the base will change from green to red, vibrating when it is picked up for extra impact.

King, from Callington, Cornwall, is looking for investors to mass-produce, market and sell her product.

She said: "My grandfather had always been a keen gardener but he suffers from something called age-related macular degeneration, which reduces his vision."

She decided to dedicate her final year project at Brunel University in Uxbridge, Middlesex, to designing a clever pot.

"I hope it will help people who would otherwise struggle to see the plants in detail and tell what they need," she said.

"It could also be useful for people who want to give gardening a try but are scared of killing their plants. Hopefully this will make things simple.

"Most importantly, my granddad thinks it's a great idea. He's very proud."

The pot helped King graduate from her industrial design course with a first-class honours degree. She is now working as a designer with Chanel in London. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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