Magic Can Happen When IoT Meets Gardening

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to open up a strange new world of automation and autonomy.
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In the case of Greenopia, a startup that’s looking to disrupt the home gardening market, that translates to a pot that can gauge the health of a plant and save you time and hassle of maintaining a kitchen garden
The company is looking to raise Rs 9 lakh on Wishberry’s crowdfunding platform, and has so far managed to raise Rs 4.5 lakh from 53 backers, with 25 days left to go. The kit is made up of connected pot, an accompanying smartphone app and all the cloud infrastructure that you shouldn’t really care about.

How Does It Work?

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The smart pot monitors three parameters that are important to a plant’s health – light, moisture and soil composition. It then transmits this data via Wi-Fi to the cloud, and users can access it using the accompanying smartphone app.

Users will even be offered tips to ensure the health of their plant by comparing data from various smart pots. If the automated suggestion route doesn’t cut it, there’s an online community of gardening enthusiasts that users will be able to tap into.
The smart pots are also equipped with their own water reservoir, meaning users can water their plants from anywhere, and more importantly exactly control the moisture content in the soil.

What Does A Connected Pot Cost Me?

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While the Greenopia smart pot is targeted at the enthusiast home gardener, the pots themselves don’t come cheap. Early backers can get up to 40% off by backing Greenopia on Wishberry, with Rs 5,000 being the least amount you can spend to get your hands on a pot.
There are various smart pot kits which users can get their hands on, including a visionary farm kit which come with 10 smart pots and will set a buyer back Rs 50,000.
That’s a lot of moolah for a problem that not many people had in the first place, and it doesn’t really encourage non-enthusiasts to pick up gardening as a hobby.

Why Is It So Revolutionary?

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The potential to grow your own food in a controlled environment at home is big, especially when the produce from the farm is hardly fresh, and often full of harmful chemicals. However, using technology to grow food for one’s own need is hardly practical, and it’s urban farming communities where we think such technology will shine.
With farmland constantly shrinking, the best option we’ve got is to urbanize farming. Rooftop farming isn’t new, but with the infusion of sensor technology and data gathering, it can become far more efficient and scalable. Disrupting how a single family eats or how an entire community grows it food, where do you think the money’s at?

The Verdict

The Greenopia smart pot is a great idea, but is limited to being a niche product the crazed techie gardner is going to invest in. It however pays to serve a small community in order to build technology, as they’re bound to be more patient than industries that rely on technology for revenue generation.
If the startup can put to use its technology to disrupt farming, there really isn’t any stopping it. However if it continues to remain a novelty product, it’s a great opportunity lost.

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