The Internet of Things is coming to a garden near you.
Last fall, a company called Soil IQ made the finals at TechCrunch Disrupt with a soil monitor that continuously sends data on moisture and temperature back to the cloud. It was co-founded by a Princeton grad and soil scientist named Jason Aramburu, who had worked with hundreds of Kenyan farmers to increase crop yields. He then teamed up with Yves Behar, the famed designer behind Fuseproject and Jawbone, to start a new company when he returned to the U.S.
They’ve made the solar-powered soil monitor much sleeker and thinner. The original was a bulky red box (see the photo below). The price is also a tad higher than what I originally wrote about last fall at $99 for the initial run, instead of the $49 Aramburu said he was targeting back at Disrupt.
“The size has come down a lot,” Aramburu said. “We finalized the sensor stack on it and had to get through other big engineering challenges like getting the solar panel and power management systems working correctly. We had to spend a lot of time building the algorithm that actually runs the devices and determines how frequently it needs to connect to the Internet.”
Edyn’s soil sensor is a Wifi-connected device that measures ambient temperature, humidity, light intensity and soil electrical conductivity.
But they’ve added a connected garden hose that can water your plants automatically for an extra $59. It controls your water system based on data collected by the paired Garden Sensor, changing watering amounts based on the weather.
Plus, the paired app is also much more beautiful with a four-part grid that shows data on light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition and moisture. The app will ping you on changes that require immediate action, and provide continuous advice on what type of organic fertilizer to use, or how to find the optimal amount of sunlight for each plant.
The Kickstarter campaign, which is targeting a $100,000 goal, has contribution levels ranging from $1 to $1,000 for a private meal with the team at Berkeley’s famed restaurant Chez Panisse.
As for the company itself, it raised north of $1 million after Disrupt from a mix of angels. And Aramburu has much bigger ambitions for where we wants to take Edyn.
“Understanding and quantifying the environment is the first step to conserving it and managing it in an impactful way,” he said.