Trial and Error: The future of Smart Plants is Finally Here
I have recently stumbled on an article that mentions how smart planters should have been already a necessary addition in any home, especially for people who don't really like taking care of their plants (raise hand!) but love to rip the benefits of having one or more to improve the indoor air quality and for aesthetic reasons. However, even with the tech advancement, there weren't too many improvements in creating the ultimate device that does everything that it's supposed to do - perfectly.
This made me want to go in-depth on why exactly connected planters are not breaking through the market even though there are and were companies out there who picked their brains out to revolutionize an industry. It all comes down to 2 decisive reasons:
1. One Size Fits All Approach
One of the reasons why other smart planters haven’t succeeded so far is because of the lack of knowledge and understanding that some plants like to be watered before they get thirsty and other plants prefer to be watered once they become thirsty. Simultaneously, the saturation levels also vary when applied to different types of soil.
Most of the smart planters are fitted with programming systems that overlook the fact that every plant is different. A One-Size-Fits-All is exactly the source of the problem. The devices are built with the intention of housing every single plant possible even though the needs are significantly different. You can’t compare an Aloe Vera to a Peace Lily and you can’t grow any edibles in the pot because they have different setting requirements. Even if a sensor exists, it’s not enough if the programming behind it was not done correctly.
Urbie Air is programmed to create an optimal environment for 15 air purifying plants and can accurately measure the wilting point depending on the plant. The plants we use have almost similar needs when it comes to wilting and saturation levels. Users can also play with soil moisture settings through the connecting app to make sure that the settings match the plant’s needs.
2. Self-Watering Technique
Many existing self-watering plants use a simple technique of adding water in the reservoir at the bottom of the plant so the roots can make their way down and drink whenever they feel thirsty. The dilemma lies in the fact that not all plants like to drink in this way and aside from that, this method contributes to the formation of harmful salts in the soil. Unless the plants are watered from the top, the salts will remain in the soil leading to quick wilting.
As an air purifier, Urbie Air uses sensors that water the plant from the top to keep the soil healthy at all times. At the same time, the device is filtering the air with the mix of Activated Carbon powder that comes with every pot. Another advantage is that the distilled water collected from Urbie’s dehumidifier system is cleaner and considerably much better in comparison with the tap water that has numerous residues and salts.
As we also know, the distilled water is less rich in nutrients, and this has been tackled by using nutrients pills or drops that can easily be added to the water tank every 3 months or by adding a compost layer over the soil using the food scraps from your kitchen, feeding the plant with the much-needed nutrients.
Perfecting the most optimal Smart Plant Device has been a work in progress throughout the years and the wait is finally over. Collecting the results from every trial and error test allowed us to understand what a plant needs exactly and how we can create and deliver that "need" in its entirety. The future of smart plants has arrived and we are here for the entire ride.