Want to send birthday flowers to a friend two continents away? The Flora digital flower vase by Japanese designer Yoshiki Matsuyama, a shortlisted entry to the contest, lets you send virtual blooms and greetings in an instant.
The sender places real flowers (or photographs of them), in one Flora vase, and a 3D scanning camera and projector snap images and sends them to the recipient's digital vase. A personalized text or video message can be sent along with the flowers and the color of the illumination light at the device's base can also be customized. Once linked, the recipient's vase will regularly update the image from the sender, so the real and digital flowers will open, close, and wilt simultaneously. Think of it like social networking for roses.