Smart Home

Netro relies on the cloud and the sun to water your garden

Many homeowners rely on lawn sprinkler systems to water their gardens and lawns. However, traditional lawn sprinkler systems tend to waste a lot of water and don’t always do a great job supplying water exactly where it’s needed.

Netro is a watering system designed for easy use in residential irrigation and is made up of the Sprite cloud-based watering controller and Whisperer, a solar-powered plant sensor. It works in conjunction with an app for Android and iOS mobile devices. Netro helps to reduce unnecessary water usage and keeps gardens healthy.

Food and Beverage Maker/Development

Edu-CADO makes growing guacamole trees easier on green thumbs

Many young children, both boys and girls, love playing around and roughhousing in the dirt. And while getting one’s hands dirty is undoubtedly fun for kids of all ages, it would certainly be nice if parents could inject a bit of education into the mix at the same time.

The Edu-CADO promises to do just that. Edu-CADO is an educational gadget that ultimately helps kids and parents work together to plant a guacamole tree. The device’s avocado seed holder is a modern take on the old fashioned method of sticking toothpicks in the seed and balancing it over a glass of water, though the Edu-Cado is notably toothpick-free. The green plastic Edu-CADO contraption offers a more stable way to balance an avocado seed over a glass of water as it houses a pocket for the seed, holes for the roots, and four hardy arms to hold it all together. Though specific measurements aren’t provided, the device appears to be compatible with pretty much any size glass or mug you might have in your cupboard.

Edu-CADO provides a fun activity for both kids and adults who want to exercise their green thumb. It also presents a new and improved way for nature-oriented homeowners to plant a tree in their own backyards. Other easy and fun gardening items worth checking out include NutriTower and Powerguard Greenhouse. This campaign seeks to raise $9500 by April 13, 2015. Backers can pick up one product for $7 with an expected delivery of Aug 2015.

Home Smart Home

Keep plants from being thirsty, full with Blossom Wi-Fi smart watering system

Up to 50% of the water used to hydrate lawns and garden is wasted. As the water situation is getting worse, especially in California, homeowners need to ensure that they’re being responsible in the way they water their lawns.

Blossom is a smart watering device that saves water. This sensor connects to an app that lets the user view each zone of their garden and schedule when to water them. The app will show what is being watered and how much time it has left. In addition, it connects with local weather data to adjust watering based on temperature and rainfall. Blossom also boasts a far-reaching connection between sensors and app using both Powerline and Wi-Fi to do so. Watering can be controlled not just from a smartphone, but also from a tablet or laptop as well.

Smart watering systems are the way to go, saving plants from dying and money on water bills. In addition, they’re environmentally friendly, conserving water so that everyone wins. Unlike the similar Sprinkl, however, Blossom lacks the integration of water conservation policies in any town, a useful feature to add, but does feature app integration making it ultimately more convenient. One Blossom will cost backers $119 for estimated delivery in February 2015. Blossom is hoping to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Home Smart Home

Sprinkl smart watering system keeps plants hydrated, saves money and water

Over-watering, under-watering and weather conditions can mean certain death for gardens, plants or crops anywhere. Most have sprinklers set to automatically water their lawns every night, whether it’s raining or not. These systems fail to take rain or lack thereof into account when hydrating plants.

Sprinkl is a smart watering system that does more than just spew water everywhere. First of all, it monitors the soil, checking hydration levels at all times. After that, it syncs up to weather forecasts. Simply input location and it’ll see what’s coming in the way of moisture. In addition, it takes into account local water conservation laws. Sometimes, a town or city will put a ban on lawn watering to make sure there’s enough water for everyone. Sprinkl makes sure that laws are followed, keeps the lawn hydrated, but won’t over-water in times of heavy rainfall.

Using Wi-Fi the sensor in the ground keeps the touchpad inside up to date on everything that’s going on. The screen displays date, time, temperature, soil level, past rainfall, next rainfall, watering schedule and zones. If different areas need different levels of moisture, the touchscreen makes that possible.

As far as smart sprinklers go, Sprinkl is a great one. With its myriad of options and ease of use, it’s completely versatile for any garden. For $299 backers can get one with one sensor by May 2015. Higher reward tiers offer more sensors for larger lawns and gardens. Sprinkl is hoping to raise $150,000 on Kickstarter.


Garden@Home offers modular planting boxes to stack and save space

Living in a city has many advantages. Museums, theaters and concert halls are only steps away and everything is open late. While cultural events are ubiquitous in a city, nature is much harder to come by. Garden@Home is a small garden system for those who only have a little space in which to grow plants. Featuring poles, shelves and a support dripping system, you can have several boxes of different kinds of plants and flowers. Some boxes sit above others and their water drips into the lower plants. The basic set holds four planters, but there is also an extension set of two planters available. Garden@Home comes in a variety of color palettes.

The biggest complaint among city dwellers is the lack of nature. Many flee to parks in the spring, summer and fall, but stay in for the winter. Garden@Home is a great system for those who like lots of plants in their apartments, but lack space to house them all. If installation is as easy as the campaign claims, this would make a great addition to any tiny studio. For the smallest set coming complete with two planters, backers must donate $55 CAD (~$48 USD) for estimated delivery in May 2015. Garden@Home is hoping to raise an ambitious $115,000 (~$101,200 USD) on Kickstarter.


Kink Kure shows it knows how to fix your hose woes

Gardening can be one of the most satisfying and peaceful activities in which to engage. Until it’s time to water the plants. When the hose kinks it’s mandatory to go and straighten it before the water flows freely again. One day, the creator of Kink Kure got fed up with this unwelcome exercise and decided to find a solution to this annoying problem. It can seem frivolous to replace a hose when there’s only one problem spot. And while the life of a hose can be extended when it’s stored in a basement, shed, or garage, hoses will still eventually kink due to age and the general wear of usage. Kink Kure seems simple to attach and still allows the hose to bend while preventing kinking, even when pulling around corners and winding; a convenient solution to a not-s0-convenient problem. For $5, backers get one with expected delivery in January 2015.


Cella puts plants in petite pods for a splash of greenery anywhere

CellaLiving in the big city has a great many benefits, but plant life and greenery certainly isn’t one of them. Cella offers a way to get some green in your life while living an urban lifestyle. These plastic nodules are small and round with holes for plants to grow through. The creators suggest using moss and seeds to start your garden. Cella can either be hung from strings, affixed to the walls or gathered together on the floor for an eye-catching display. For $25, backers get each of the three sizes of the product with an estimated delivery date of September 2014. Cella hopes to raise $50,000 in its Kickstarter campaign.


Screener Thing won’t let your garden down

ScreenerFor green thumbers who have a rocky time working in their gardens, Screener Thing offers a solution. This nifty, sifty garden tool is basically a screen framed by wood planks that sits on top of wheelbarrows or buckets. When pouring dirt into the receptacle, the screen catches all of the unwanted rocky or chunky material that lives in the dirt. For $45, backers can rock out with the Screener Thing. The money, rather than the play, is the Thing as it needs to raise $45,000 on Kickstarter in its 45-day campaign.