The idea came for this when I began thinking about the modification of RL plants and trees to enhance the world for communication advancement, more specifically the idea that genetically modified tree's could be produced that not only grew faster but were also irradiated to enhance the range and strength of wireless signals for use in public parks etc.
I've been playing with the idea of a virtual tree that not only communicates and interacts with Avatars in an abstract way but can also react/affect the environment and objects around it, the other point was that the tree had to be able to communicate with other trees of it's type as well to create a communications mesh.
Whisper Trees (a concept design for nature communication in SL):
Disclaimer: I appreciate that none of the code ideas may be possible or practical in any way, that there may be a much more efficient solution to this and that yes, I may be entering into my own little head space :)
The central idea is that each tree sits and listens, scanning across the range of chat channels, listening for signals between objects, chat from avatars etc. The tree then locks into that channel and replicates the signal over a set period of time, with more trees each listening to the signals and each other this would essentially create a mesh spreading across a sim.
The trees would allow objects to communicate across sims, random chat would be picked up and repeated throughout the nature of sims and repeated to any passers by, essentially broadcasting out through "Whispering Trees".
For example in the above pic, object A sends out a signal on a chat channel, the nearby tree would be scanning through the channels and would eventually pick up the signal, repeat it and slowly it would pass throughout the network of trees in the sim (perhaps lighting up each one as they communicated), until the signal repeated by the trees reaches object B that could react to it.
For another application the trees could listen out for avatar chat, then if a tree receives to different chat signals it could splice the two together, once the chat has been merged and spliced throughout a forest say, the resultant chat being received by avatars entering the forest could produce quite bizarre stories!
The idea behind this concept is not to produce necessarily something that can be replicated in world but perhaps to spark a series of evolutions on an idea, that nature in virtual worlds can expand and integrate to a greater sense with the world around it...