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CES 2019: This company wants to use augmented reality to help you garden

Simply called Connected Garden, this startup combines a plant sensor with a cool app for digitally mapping out your garden's needs.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A new plant sensor will go a step beyond push notifications to help you keep your garden thriving. The Connected Garden Super Sensor comes with a reality augmented app. You'll be able to plan out your garden, and figure out what maintenance is necessary at a glance.

Both are on display at CES, and the plant sensor looks somewhat typical at first glance. It senses brightness, temperature and humidity above the ground. Beneath the soil, it has sensors for water, pH and the electrical conductivity of the soil, which gauges the amount of fertilizer.

The sensor uses the data it collects to advise you what to plant, then once you're rolling, it can keep track of what maintenance you need to do. It communicates with a bridge using the low-power LoRa frequency, and the bridge sends that info to the cloud so the app stays up to date.

The app is what sets Connected Garden apart. It'll show you an augmented reality view of your garden complete with colored pins over your plants. The pins show both a color and a number and mean it's time to take action. The number shows you the time needed for your current task -- so it'll be lower for watering than pruning. The color indicates the urgency.

Unfortunately, taking advantage of this cool app will cost you. Connected Garden hasn't set a price for the plant sensor yet, but it's due out later this year and the company has promised to keep it under $100, which would be reasonable. The app will have a $5 a month fee.

Plant sensors have fallen off as a category, mostly because of their relatively high cost with minimal benefits. Augmented reality could help this model stand out, but the monthly fee for maintenance advice feels like a big ask. Both the sensor and the app are due out at the end of the year. 

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