You can do a lot with smart products, and making your life easier should be at the top.
Internet of Things devices are one of the better products you can invest in to do just that. Every internet of things device can be connected to and controlled by a smartphone app, and its behaviour can be changed on the fly according to circumstances. For a lot of people, that’s already a big benefit, but SMART products can do more than just free up your time.
We’re big believers of technology that helps and levels out the playing field for everyone. We want to see products made that answer problems, such as ‘how do I know how much I’m watering my plants?’
Plants are finicky, and they need a lot of care. The plant industry has boomed ever since lockdown, and it was already pretty high - figures in 2019 show that over 33 million households in the United States had some kind of indoor plant to take care of, and that number’s probably grown a lot since then. Besides being beautiful, plants can help with the air quality inside a house and it’s something to look forward to taking care of if you’re still working from home.
However, if you’re not naturally green-thumbed, or you haven’t yet figured out how to fit plant nannying into your schedule, we can bet there’s been at least one time you’ve forgotten to water them. Maybe you’ve already lost a plant or two because you forgot to water it, or you gave up trying to have house-plants because you kept killing them - accidentally, but that would still add up.
What you need is something that takes the water worries out of the equation.
Here’s what we think: you need a SMART watering system.
Soil pH monitors and water monitors already exist, and the technology to build and connect an app to them has been tried and tested and approved. It’s the old ‘can you play DOOM on it?’ question turned up to 11, but instead of DOOM, it is ‘can it be made smarter?’, and instead of playing, it’s saving your plants.
First, you need a water dispenser that also doubles as a pH monitor. It has to go in deep enough that you can get an accurate read, and it should be sensitive enough to monitor even the smallest fluctuations. With plants, the tiniest change can make a big difference.
The probe itself won’t be difficult to use: all you need to do is plug it into the soil you want to monitor, enable it via the app, and walk away.
The app is really going to be where the value comes out, so it should be as detailed as possible. Measuring when and how much water your plants need is only the start of it; you also need to measure how much humidity there is the room, how much sunlight your plants are getting, what the soil pH is and if you need to add anything to make your plant grow better, such as a particular vitamin or phosphorus.
There should also be a database of plants and flowers built in, so users can compare what they’re doing with the recommended guidelines and so they can start understanding how to better take care of their plants. With the user-guide, people who buy the probe can move on from having a probe in every plan to having a few in the plants that are just really difficult to keep track of without it, and having a back-up plan for when they go on holiday.
Well-watered plants, happier consumers, and the opportunity to grow your indoor garden a lot more now once you start accidentally forgetting how to water them.
We don’t think technology needs to be a crutch, and we don’t think you should feel like you need to have a really complicated smart product when you could do without it. There are always going to be occasions when your life is just easier when you can rely on technology to take the guesswork out of something, and those situations are where smart products really shine and show their value.
If you’ve got a product you think would benefit from being smart, get in touch. We’ll be happy to guide you through the process of turning a dumb product into a smart product.