The green thumb in your family will have a new reason to geek it up this year, as Parrot’s Flower Power is joined by two newbies to monitor your veggie patch.
Last year, French electronics company Parrot turned gardeners into geeks with its Flower Power gadget, a small piece of hardware that monitored a gardening patch to tell you if it was getting enough sun, water, and generally acting being a good plant.
The idea was certainly interesting, and while we wished it had Android support (it was later added), it was a very neat idea and a gadget category we had never really experienced before.
We even donned gloves and tried growing some limes, tomatoes, and coriander, because who wouldn’t want a salsa garden of their own?
This year, Parrot is updating the idea with two more garden gadgets in the form of the Parrot H2O and the Parrot Pot.
First there’s the H20, and this will be like the Parrot Flower Power, except with a small connection on the side of the gadget to plug in a water bottle.
That means instead of just telling you how your plant desperately wants some water, the Parrot H2O will even be able to distribute some of that water to your plant, taking a half-lite, full-litre, or two litre bottle and offering as much as three weeks straight of automatic watering based on the plant and its needs instead of bothering you for the privilege.
If plugging in a water tank is still too much work for you, it will be worth checking out the Parrot Pot, a rather ambiguous name, but one that has been bestowed on a product that could well make it possible for anyone to start an autonomous garden.
Parrot’s Pot is like a regular pot in that you’ll pack dirt and flora inside, but you won’t need to leave a two litre water bottle sticking out the back like you will with the Parrot H20 because it has a 2L water reserve built directly into the pot.
This water reserve connects to four spouts, making a small irrigation system that will water your plant, track how it is doing, and even switch to a water conservation mode when it’s running out of liquid, keeping your plant alive if you’re not there to give the pot the water it so desperately needs.
And just like in the Parrot Flower Power, information will be recorded about the plans and sent to a gadget when it is nearby, relying on Bluetooth Smart for the transfer.
Pricing and availability isn’t known for either of Parrot’s geeky green thumb gadgets, but we saw the Flower Power at the end of 2013, so we can only imagine these will rock up in the next few months as an update to the range.