Connected Garden, Smart Home: IoT For Your Lawn
Remember having to get up off the couch, walking to the TV, and twisting and turning the dials to find the right channel? If you don’t, ask your parents and sit tight as they delve into one of their when-I-was-your-age-I-took-three-buses-to-school stories. It’s incredible to think that TV remotes that couldn’t do much more than change the channel were only popularized in the mid-80s and yet today you can control nearly every device in your home from an iPhone that fits in your back pocket. But unlike the first TV remote that ushered in a new generation of lazy teenagers, the Internet of Things offers more than just ease and convenience. Let’s take a look at how IoT is helping homeowners save both money and the environment by implementing smart devices that power their home gardens.
Show Me The Money
Chances are you’re spending more money than you’d like trying to keep up with the Joneses and maintain that perfectly manicured green lawn. The typical suburban lawn consumes about 10,000 gallons of water (not including rainwater!) each year. That’s about $1000 you can put towards that new car you’ve been eyeing–ahem, I mean, your children’s’ college education. Most of that money is wasted because more often than not, sprinklers are actually overwatering. Sprinkler systems usually work on a timer, and go off without regard for other important conditions like: is it already raining?, for example. That’s where IoT comes in. Internet-powered devices can read the local weather stations’ forecast, understand that it’s already raining, and shut down the sprinkler system. What’s more, it can gauge how much water to use based on various weather factors, making sure your sprinklers don’t flood your lawn and drain your wallet. The end result is less water consumption and less money wasted.
Earth Day Everyday
In addition to helping you save money, IoT also helps save Mother Earth. Treehuggers aren’t the only ones concerned about the environment anymore, especially as green initiatives become mainstream and garner more media attention. Each person can do what they feel comfortable with. For example, there’s no need to adopt earthy crunchy techniques like not washing your hair for a week, especially when IoT makes it so easy to conserve. Once the device is set up, there’s not much more for you to do–that’s the beauty of IoT. An Internet powered device automatically reconfigures its settings to adjust to your lawn’s unique characteristics, like soil depth, air temperature, humidity, etc. It takes everything into consideration for you, so you don’t have to. Rather than a generic one-size-fits-all sprinkler system that you have to constantly check up on, IoT adapts to your specific situation and changes its settings everyday. Plus, by saving on water, you’re helping species that depend on it, reserving clean water for drinking, and lowering energy usage. In fact, if everyone used a bit less water on their lawns, we could save a lake full of water about a mile long, a mile wide, and four feet deep every day. Knowing that you’re helping save mother earth should be reason enough to hop on the IoT bandwagon.
Not Your Average Homeowner
If you’re more of a gardening enthusiast than the average homeowner, IoT might be an excellent way to ensure your garden is getting the right nutrients and amount of water. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that certain plants and flowers require particular soil temperatures, amounts of sunlight exposure, moisture, etc. Until now, unpredictable outdoor conditions dictated how gardeners, well, gardened–they had to take these conditions as given and work around them. Often, plants might not bloom as nicely as they should have, but not because you didn’t do all that you could. Fortunately, IoT gives gardeners the control back. Not only does the advanced technology assess your plants’ health and provide valuable insights, but it also, and more importantly, adjusts itself to compliment whatever outdoor conditions are thrown at you–better equipping you to care for your plants and ensure they bloom spectacularly.
Clearly, there are tons of benefits to adopting IoT for your home garden. It’s not so farfetched to think that as technology continues to innovate, IoT powered lawns that both save money and the environment will become the norm. Especially since Cisco estimates that by 2020 there will be nearly 50 billion (that’s right, billion) ‘things’ on the Internet. Let’s see where the future takes us!