The IoT market can seem a bit stale at times. As a consumer, it really is difficult to keep getting excited about my smartphone gaining the ability to control every physical switch on my toaster and vacuum. Those products are just unnecessary. Where these connected products do continue to shine, however, is in regards to automated energy savings.
Rachio is a sprinkler controller that takes over the process of watering your lawn in a manner that is as mindful as possible of your total outdoor water usage. Today, the company released its Generation 2 controller which updates a number of features to allow users a simpler way to adapt the cloud-powered device to the needs of their individual lawns in their specific climates.
The device, which retails for $249, is available now on the Rachio website, Amazon and at Home Depot. In what is often seen as a badge of legitimacy in the IoT world, the device will also soon be available for $249 Apple’s online store.
Rachio claims that users of its previous generation model have saved up to 50 percent off their outdoor watering bills. While that definitely adds up to some extra saved cash, it more importantly amounts to more sustainable water usage.
A major selling point of the Gen. 2 Rachio sprinkler controller is the manner in which it plays nice with other smart home products. Rachio boasts compatibility with devices and apps from Nest, Xfinity, Alarm.com, Control4, Creston, IFTTT, Nexia, Wink and Amazon Echo. This allows an endless degree of customization that ensures users won’t be watering their lawn in the rain. The device also has a great deal of technical upgrades over the earlier edition, including support for watering up to 16 zones, LED status alerts, additional sensor options and a simpler set-up process.
One of the largest upgrades for the Generation 2 is a downgrade in price. While the company’s first-generation product retailed for $299, the company is hoping that by knocking the price down to $249 they can reach more customers.
Rachio raised some cash in November of this past year. The $7.1 million Series A led by Arborview Capital served as a growth round for the startup and enabled them to meet the demand for both generations of their products according to the company.
Rachio has the ability to save homeowners cash on utility bills, but more importantly it allows customers to be more proactive in utilizing natural resources in a more responsible manner.