The Good EasyBloom measures light, temperature, and humidity to recommend how to treat and place plants; fun-looking and simple hardware; well-designed Web site features plant-recommendation database and lets you log data and notes.
The Bad EasyBloom's database is limited; doesn't help with geographic zones or seasons for outdoor plants; doesn't measure soil pH; data doesn't remain on device after uploading; no option to save data to a hard drive.
The Bottom Line The EasyBloom system helpfully measures how environmental conditions affect your plants, but its database could provide more advice beyond houseplants.
EasyBloom Plant Sensor
EasyBloom is a digital babysitting system for a garden. It consists of a flower-shaped, USB-enabled plant sensor gizmo, and an online plant-matchmaking database. People with green thumbs might not need it, but this product could be attractive if you'd like some high-tech help to keep your plants alive and thriving.
The $60 EasyBloom comes from PlantSense, a start-up founded by a former manager of wireless products at Cisco. The product includes sensors with dielectric capacitance technology used on the NASA Mars Pioneer mission to measure soil drainage.
Setup and design
Downloading and installing the EasyBloom software took less than 5 minutes in our tests on both Windows XP and Vista computers. Once that's done, just plug the flower-shaped gadget into your PC's USB port, which triggers an EasyBloom Web page to open in your default browser. Supported operating systems include Windows Vista or XP. (Compatibility for Mac OS 10.5 or newer is set for release in 2009.)