This MediaLab Europe Project uses everyday natural objects to communicate a loved one's sense of presence. Shown here is a wireless, IM-enabled flower that opesn when your friend or lover is online, and closes when she's offline. Beautiful! Here's more about the project:
An important feature of healthy interpersonal relationships is a sense of attachment and closeness that is endlessly evolving and carefully balanced to the mutual benefit of the individuals involved. Lack of contact, whether due to distance or other uncontrollable factors, can throw off this balance and cause unnecessary tension and hardship. In the One2One project, we are developing a technological infrastructure for creating personalized ambient communication links to enhance a sense of presence and togetherness between two distant individuals. We are exploring a variety of passive sensing and display devices to suit individual taste and the character of the relationship.