There’s something decidedly sci-fi about digitizing green plants, but that’s what a new partnership between the
Cincinnati Park Board
and local tech startup QuipTV
hopes to achieve.
This month, the duo launched a pilot project that allows Ault Park
visitors to access informative videos about specific plants, the community and the park by using smartphones or handheld devices to scan QR-tagged plants.
So far, 87 specimens have been tagged with another 40 to be added in the coming weeks, according to the Parks. Plans are also in the works to extend the project to Krohn Conservatory
in time for its 2012 holiday exhibit, “Trains, Trestles & Traditions,” which runs Nov. 17-Jan. 6.
“We would like to expand the program to more locations in the future, but we will wait to see some of the responses from the pilot projects at Ault and Krohn,” says Deborah Allison, business services manager at the Parks.
You don’t have to visit the sites to learn about the plants, either. The informative videos can also be accessed remotely via the Cincinnati Parks’ YouTube channel
and its mobile app
, which was launched in July.
According to Kris Kubicki, co-founder of QuipTV, the videos also direct users to local vendors that sell the featured plants.
“We own a small nursery and were trying to figure out a way to generate enthusiasm for plants and let people know that we exist,” says Kubicki. “Recognizing that many small businesses are struggling and need the support of their community, this project helps them, too. In this technology-driven culture with smartphones in the hands of many, we can take a moment of curiosity and educate with a 20-50-second video.”
Organizers hope the project will help people connect more with the outdoors and interact with other Cincinnatians through existing groups like the Greater Cincinnati Master Gardener Association
and the Civic Garden Center
“This project engages people with their surroundings and provides options for citizens to be more proactive,” says Kubicki. “We all need each other. Supporting our local communities is where we start fixing the future.”
By Hannah Purnell
Follow Hannah on Twitter.