Green thumbs are apparently not genetic. My father is an awesome gardener and unfortunately I’m the opposite and need help to keep plants alive. Thankfully technology is arriving that helps people like me, or just generally busy and forgetful people who love plants, but don’t have the time to raise them.
Last year at CES Parrot introduced the Parrot Pot and at this year, they’re back with a new and improved version 2.0 of the Parrot Pot. This smart pot features an automatic watering system that has a water reservoir and sensors that release the water when the plant needs it.
The water reservoir is built into the sides of the pot, only slightly impacting on the available capacity of the pot. This can provide up to a month of water, allowing you to essentially forget about it for weeks.
The Pot this year is far more sophisticated and thanks to a Bluetooth connection, can send alerts to your phone when your plants need special attention.
The Pot is packed with four sensors to detect the soil moisture, the temperature (-10c to +55c), fertilizer level and a light sensor. The temperature and light sensors being incredibly important to let you know if the plant is getting too much sun for optimal growth, or just so you can move it, just so it’ll survive.
Of course Parrot are leveraging the cloud to deliver expert advice for a PlantDB (database) which currently includes more than 8,000 varieties.
Thanks to the low energy consumption of Bluetooth 4.0 LE, the 4x AA batteries will last around 1 year, not too bad to ensure your investment in the plants you put in the pot, stay alive. Of course having a pot take care of the watering on its own, lets you head off on holidays or live your life without worrying about your plants.
The biggest issue is that this is a single pot and our gardens are made up of a complex array of plants. Parrot Pot may be smart, but it won’t keep your whole garden alive. Let’s hope CES 2017, the company announces a connected watering system that solves the whole problem.
It turns out the company that makes drones and headphones, is also pretty serious about gardening products as well. Parrot have a Flower Power platform where they not only make first party iOS and Android apps, but also have a developer SDK and integration with IoT services like IFTTT.
This lets you integrate the Pot notifications with other connected devices in your home. One example is the ability to turn on Phillips Hue lights when your plants need more light. Will LEDs aren’t a replacement for sun, it will prompt you to spring into action.
If you do happen to have an in-ground sprinkler system, you could connect the power to a Belkin WeMo and have the Parrot Pot signal to the WeMo, the watering system needs to go on. While this is certainly a hack and not a full solution from Parrot, it is testament to the power and opportunity of a connected device.
If you’re studying horticulture, then you can get sophisticated about plant management and log the plants temperature to a Google spreadsheet, then chart it over time. Go to the next level and add a web cam that takes photos periodically and you can document the plant’s growth.
The Parrot Pot is available in April this year.
— Parrot (@Parrot) January 8, 2016