Urban dwellers in India face many of the same issues Londoners, Chicagoites, and people in Brooklyn do today – good fresh food is hard to find, or far too expensive. So it’s no surprise that a new compact Internet-enabled smart garden recently launched it’s crowdfunding campaign in India. Say hello to Greenopia, the latest smart pot to arrive on the horizon, an advanced ‘smart gardening kit’ that makes growing plants simple anywhere. It’s the first of it’s kind in their market, and looks to be designed to work indoors and on your balcony.
This is a bit different from other new urban garden gadgets we’ve seen recently. It’s functionality and design landed founder, Mani Hk, and his team the Indo-Russian MTS Innovatsii Award for 2014. Their dream is to make it possible for busy urbanites to be able to grow fresh herbs and vegetables at home without failure. Their prototypes work great, but now it’s time to get set up for manufacturing and finalizing the app that links gardens to users, and users to the Greenopia community and database. Naturally, that calls for a sizable investment, and like so many great ideas today, they’ve turned to crowdfunding to make their vision a reality.
Greenopia’s got a sleek modern style that will look great with anyone’s decor. The compact garden is counter-top sized with a 2-foot by 1-foot footprint, and is equipped with sensors that monitor the three most critical things in succeeding at growing your own: soil moisture, soil fertility and pH (electrical conductivity), and sunlight for efficient plant energy. Instead of being hydroponic, this smart pot has a water reservoir equipped with a motor that is activated via the app allowing the busy gardener to water their plants from wherever they are. As long as your mobile has a signal, you can check on your plants, and control the soil moisture.
The Greenopia app will know what pH and NPK needs your plants have, and can monitor their conditions from start to finish. It will tell you when it needs adjusting, along with how to fix that environment. It takes all the guesswork out of fertilization, where many new growers mess up by under fertilizing, or over doing it.
The grower tells the app what is in the pot, and the database will instantly know just the amount of sunlight the garden needs. Then the sensor tells the app if you’ve met the plant’s requirements – a great tool for finding the perfect spot for your garden! And if no spot in the house has sufficient light, adding a grow light will make up the difference. The Greenopia app will let you know if the light you’ve bought will work for a successful harvest. It can even help you identify problems like pests and disease in your garden. Pretty neat.
Besides syncing with your garden and giving you sound advice on caring for your smart garden, the app also offers you a platform to connect with other growers in the Greenopia community. Sharing your plants and harvests with others make growing even more fun, plus you’ll be able to learn from other people’s experience using the same equipment you are. Mani says that “Greenopia is an ‘Internet of Gardens’ that learns. For instance, if someone has grown the perfect parsley in Bangalore, India, it knows the conditions that have led to it, and gives you smarter suggestions for your parsley plant. Greenopia is creating the first ever crowdsourced, contextual, real-time library of plant data.”
Give Greenopia a hand at bringing easy urban gardening to people in India and beyond by helping fund their initiative. It’s an all-or-nothing crowdfunding campaign through Wishberry, where you can claim an early adoptor’s Greenopia Smart Garden Kit for as little as $80/Rs.5,000 if you act fast – their are only 26 of those left at the time this article was written. Naturally, there are pricier rewards, including a double set of smart pots. You can still get one of these advanced smart pots if you aren’t in India, they’re shipping internationally. Any funders from other nations will be charged about $30 at the time of shipping.