Stockholm-based start-up Flyte is using crowdfunding website Kickstarter to fund its ‘zero-gravity growing system’, which consists of a plant pot that hovers above an oak base through magnetic levitation, producing an effect that looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.
And it appears to have struck a chord. With 15 days to go, backers have already pledged $209,341 to the project – six times its original funding goal. Flyte founder Simon Morris told The Local that the pots are not just an attempt to push the boundaries of technology, but also an experiment to see how plants are affected by growing in mid-air.
“We’re interested in challenging what house plants can do. We have them at home, they provide us with oxygen, but we wanted to raise some questions,” he explained.
“What if plants are affected by magnetism? What happens if the plant rotates too, so sunlight is distributed evenly, rather than the plant growing towards the sun as usually happens? We’re leaving it up to the customers to judge the results.”
It was Sweden’s reputation for pushing boundaries that inspired Morris, originally from New York, to relocate to the country.
“I didn’t move here because of a girl, I moved here because of design. Sweden has a big reputation for being a design and innovation capital for start-ups. It’s a very fertile environment for that,” he noted.
The plant pots use the same technology as Flyte’s previous invention, a levitating light bulb which receives its power through the air. That project managed to achieve seven times its original funding goal, and with the plant pots also doing well, the magnetism enthusiast has good cause to be content.
“We got a great response to our first project and way over-funded our goal. The response to this one has been very positive too,” he beamed.
“We started from humble beginnings in Sweden, an international team of designers with a background in science and engineering, so crowdfunding is a great platform for us to test our ideas,”
“The alternative is that we would need to find an investor, whereas this is so instant.”