File this under ‘neat, until you stop to think too hard about it.’ LG has just unveiled one of its big innovations for CES: an indoor gardening appliance to give flat dwellers the illusion of nature in the comfort of their own home.
It’s called the LG tiiun — which means “to sprout” in Korean — and looks like a mini fridge for flowers and herbs. It is according to LG, the culmination of its expertise in fridges, water purifiers and ventilation systems.
It has two shelves that hold up to six seed packages each, and each package has ten holes for germination. In other words, you can be green fingered without having to go near anything too green.
The main advantage over traditional gardening, obviously, is that this can be done without access to a garden, but it doesn’t stop there. LG says you can grow your plants in just four to eight weeks with the hardware, which it claims is quicker than letting mother nature be your flora’s midwife.
That’s down to conditions that are optimised for plant growth, rather than the unpredictable weather patterns of the outside world, though it does regulate temperature and light based on normal 24-hour day-and-night cycles.
It’s airtight to prevent the perfect conditions being disrupted, only letting humans peer in from the outside. Well, watch and top up the water tank: you’ll get a notification telling you when to do so, making it that bit harder to accidentally commit plantslaughter.
Like Facebook’s weird obsession with making us live in a virtual world instead of the real one, it feels a little bit like somebody watched the dystopic spaceship scenes in Wall-E and thought it looked like a blueprint for the future, rather than something that isn’t exactly desirable.
I’m no gardener myself, but this does seem to take away all the fun rewarding bits of the hobby. No doubt this will prove useful for those without green spaces to grow things in themselves (it’s already won a CES 2022 Innovation award), but everyone else might want to consider getting outside for a little sunshine instead.
And that’s before we’ve even seen a price tag (we’re guessing: expensive).