The Internet of Things sprouts in the garden

Edyn hopes to raise $100,000 for its smart Garden Sensor and Water Valve system, both of which allow gardeners to make decisions in real-time based on their specific conditions.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
2 min read

Edyn's solar-powered Garden Sensor can help home gardeners better understand the conditions of their soil. Edyn

If thermostats, light bulbs, and smoke detectors can work better by being connected to the Internet, why not garden equipment?

That's the premise behind Edyn, an Internet of Things startup launching a Kickstarter campaign this morning aiming to raise money for a smart soil analysis and watering system that could help gardeners grow better and more plentiful crops while saving significant amounts of water in the process.

Founded by Princeton-educated soil scientist Jason Aramburu, Edyn is developing a two-component smart garden system with industrial design led by famed designer Yves Behar, who has helped create the look and feel of products from companies as diverse as Jawbone, Ouya, August, and even SodaStream.

Edyn's concept is simple: Its solar-powered Garden Sensor analyzes soil and provides real-time information about moisture, sunlight, nutrient levels, and more, via Wi-Fi, to gardeners. Its solar-powered Water Valve is a flow device attached to a drip irrigation system allowing for the most efficient watering possible.

The Berkeley, Calif.,-based startup is hoping to raise $100,000 in its Kickstarter campaign. It hopes its promise of smart gardening will be attractive to people for whom it has been difficult to understand the realities of their personal gardens.

That kind of technology has been used for some time in industrial agriculture, but Edyn believes it has largely been unavailable to the home gardener. The company thinks its technology can be a game-changer given that, among other things, people rarely understand the vagaries of their own gardens, and how small changes in their local environment can impact their plants. At the same time, Edyn hopes to help people save water by irrigating precisely as local real-time conditions demand. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, as much as half of the 7.8 billion of water used for landscape irrigation goes to waste.

Edyn's Water Valve is designed to let users control the irrigation in their gardens based on real-time conditions. Edyn

Edyn isn't the only company trying to apply smart technology to the garden. Another company, Rachio, unveiled a smart sprinkler system this week, aiming to help reduce wasted water. Other products in the field include Parrot Flower Power and Oso Technologies' PlantLink .

But Edyn's system addresses both soil analysis -- and how that can help gardeners make decisions about their plants, fruits, and vegetables -- as well as irrigation. Its mobile app, available initially for iOS devices, provides a dashboard allowing users to see real-time information about their garden's conditions and even to control the watering system.