Gardening can be tough, especially for the novice, but the Edyn sensor platform is aiming to make these a bit easier. The sensor, which is a small solar-powered processor with a sensor-filled stake that you shove into your garden's soil, took to Kickstarter today. In addition to the sensor stake, Edyn is making a solar-powered valve to put inline in your irrigation system to automatically and intelligently water your garden.
The Edyn Garden Sensor uses electrical resistance measurements to determine both the moisture content and nutrient content of your soil. It can check for both acidity and fertility, and uses that information to inform you of both what can be planted in that soil and what you should add to it to help what you've already planted. There's even a solar sensor that logs the sunlight it receives throughout the day — that way you can really know whether or not your garden is "full sun" or "partial sun".
To make the most of the moisture sensing, though, it can pair up with the water line valve. With that connection made, the Edyn can automatically water your garden with just the water it needs, when it needs it. It also is designed to check the weather forecast, so if there's rain coming up it'll scale back and let Mother Nature give you the water you need.
That smart aspect also ties into an app for your smartphone (Edyn's images only show an iPhone, but they haven't specified for which platforms they'll be making apps). The Edyn app ties the whole thing together and helps keep you informed about what's going on in your garden. Do you need to add compost or fertilizer? Should you move your tomato plants into a spot with more sun? Edyn's supposed to tell you.
Of course, there are a few hitches. The first being that you'll need Wi-Fi signal in your garden. Edyn says their chips is rated for 300 feet of range, and that they've had it work at over 2500 feet with a clear line of sight, but in reality Wi-Fi can be a bit more finicky, especially if you're a traditionalist and have at least one wall (e.g., the house) between your router and garden. As a Kickstarter project, this is also contingent upon Edyn getting the requisite funding and actually being able to follow through with what they've promised. In this case, they're looking for $100,000, though the project's total funding has been rising steadily in just this first day on Kickstarter. And even then you're not projected to see the product ready to be shoved into your soil until March 2015, or April if you want the water valve too.
If those caveats aren't holding back your enthusiasm, a pledge of $99 will get you an Edyn Garden Sensor (the first 100 are available for $79), while $159 will get you a sensor and water valve. Who's interested in doing some smarter gardening?