If you haven't yet found enough ways to waste time with Twitter, then how about adding something akin to watching grass grow to your Web 2.0 mix?

More precisely, the microblogging phenomenon is being used by telecoms researchers at New York University to distribute updates on how thirsty or satisfied their pot plants might be.

Back to nature

While that's a rather banal piece of information, the point of their Botanicalls device is to show how sophisticated sensors like soil moisture monitors can interact with the real world.

Co-creator Rob Faludi explained: "The spirit of Botanicalls is not creating a robotic plant. The spirit of Botanicalls is really re-engaging people with nature and getting them to pay attention."

One-way relationship

To that end, plants like the one belonging to the team can relay signals to software that chooses an appropriate 'interpretation' into human-speak. The messages are generally along the lines of "Water me please", so don't expect a serialised novel or anything.

So far, the plant has around 3,000 followers, although we note it hasn't had the courtesy to follow anyone back yet.

The team sells kits for building the Botanicalls monitor for $99 (£69), so we expect the overall quality of the pool of Twitter discourse to dip yet further before long.