So I bought a plant. I named it Stan. I’ve never really been a plant guy. But maybe Parrot’s new wireless plant monitor can help. Stan’s life depends on it.
The Flower Power is a small Bluetooth-capable sensor. It runs on a AAA battery and simply sticks in the plant’s dirt. It’s cute and hardly noticeable. The device measures and tracks light intensity, air temperature, fertilizer level and soil moisture. These are things people with a green thumb understand, but the rest of us completely forget about. That’s why there’s an app for that.
Setup takes a few minutes. Select the type of plant in the smartphone app and stick the Flower Power in the dirt. After a couple of minutes, the Flower Power is connected to the app and sending live data. It needs to be partly exposed to track sunlight. The device is weatherproof.
The Flower Power app contains a database of 6,000 plants. Stan is a money tree and the app contained that listing. And yes, cannabis is in there, too.
The Flower Power takes all the pseudoscience out of maintaining plants.
Is it accurate? As far as I can tell, it works fine. The air temperature reading is dead-on and it knew when I forgot to water Stan, which was often.
A single Flower Power can be set to monitor a specific plant or easily reset to monitor different plants at different times. For instance, if selected to monitor green beans, it will not provide appropriate readings for the tomatoes planted in the neighboring bed. An owner can either buy another Flower Power for the tomatoes or use a single device to monitor both since they probably have different growing cycles anyway. At $59.99 each, it can be a bit pricey to outfit an entire garden. But Parrot does brag that it brings professional-level monitoring to the home consumer.
Parrot is on the forefront of an open market. There are several competitors including the Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor and SoilIQ, a SF 2013 Startup Battlefield contestant that has yet to launch its product. Still, even with several other players, the Flower Power should flourish in the emerging Internet of Things market.
The Flower Power works. Stan is proof of that. So far, because of the push notifications, he’s lived longer than any of my previous plants and I don’t see him drying out anytime soon.