You’re going on a trip and you’ve arranged for a pet sitter, but what about your poor, lonely plants? Now you can not only water them from anywhere in the world, but you can FaceTime with your plants, too! That is part of the idea behind a new app and indoor “microfarming” plant care system, Sprouts.io
Sprouts.io is the project of a group of students at the Changing Places research group at the MIT Media Lab. Led by research students Jennifer Broutin Farah and Kent Larson, they describe their SproutsIO project as “a microfarming system that assists everyday people in reliably producing healthy food in urban areas.”
They go on to say that “SproutsIO has scalable, modular components augmented by technology such as monitoring sensors, network capability, and smart mobile applications to facilitate ease and a deeper understanding of the process through which aeroponic vegetables.”
Put in plain English, SproutsIO is an indoor planter-based farming system (hence microfarming), and the planters, each of which sports its own light, watering system, and camera, is network-ready.
With the SproutsIO app, you can control watering and lighting and, yes, FaceTime with your plant.
As Broutin Farah explained in an interview with Fast Company’s FastCo Design site, “Our hope is that it becomes a new kind of standard. We’re not saying people are going to stop going to grocery stores or getting food delivered to their homes, but we’re interested in providing people with an alternative.”
Explains the Sprouts.io site, “The fully automated SproutsIO uses specially engineered hybrid hyrdoculture technology and network communications to enable indoor growing direct from your mobile phone. With increased produce yields and accelerated growing cycles, SproutsIO is designed to keep pace with an active lifestyle. … It is high performance and responsible too, conserving resources by using 98% less water and 60% less fertilizer than conventional methods. The SproutsIO is integrated with renewables and services to conveniently grow Personal Produce, fresh on-the-vine.”
For urban apartment dwellers in particular, the appeal will be being able to grow their own produce in a limited space, indoors, and being able to control the needs of their planty pets from afar.
And yes, being able to FaceTime with their plants.
You can read more at the Sprouts.io website.
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