Ask any botanist, and he’ll tell you that gardening is a tough activity if you’re not good at estimating land conditions. Luckily, this upcoming Kickstarter crowdfunded invention from a startup called Edyn may lower the barrier of entry for this hobby.
The company has created the Edyn garden sensor, which looks like a yellow staff with a sensor attached to it. You insert the device into the soil and let it gather and analyse data about weather and soil conditions — sunlight, temperature, all that jazz to give you good info for planting. The Edyn app will then communicate through your smartphone and send in real-time data and alerts on how to make your plants thrive in its current condition.
In addition, you can also get the Edyn water valve, a separate water control system that automatically controls a garden’s automated watering system based on the data collected through the app and device. It’s sold separately, of course, but you can get the entire Edyn set if you back it high enough.
So how does the sensor really work? Well, it passes a harmless electrical signal through it. That signal then measures how it’s altered by natural additives in the garden. The data is then cross-referenced with Edyn’s database and community contribution; the default device starts off with about a thousand plant variations and soil conditions. The Edyn sensor is also calibrated in a way that it can detect even the smallest changes in the soil’s moisture, acidity and fertility.
The many prototypes of the Edyn before its final form on the far right. Image credit: Edyn
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It’s also solar-powered, water/fertiliser resistant, powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and Wifi-connected to the Edyn startup’s cloud storage. If you’re wondering why it looks sleek and is easy to use, that’s because it was designed by Yves Behar and his firm fuseproject, renowned for designing the Jambox.
At this point in time, the Kickstarter has reached past its US$100,000 goal, with its current value being at US$140,232. It has 29 days to go until the crowdfunding project is closed off. Guess a lot of people are keen on having cheat sheets for gardening and botany.
Budding gardeners can look forward to owning the Edyn garden sensor when it’s officially out in March 2015; this includes the US$22 to US$35 shipping cost (depending on whether you want the water valve or not). If you wish to be a beta tester and get the kit around December 2014, you will need to pledge US$129 or more.