Give your smart home a smart yard with the Eve intelligent irrigation system

eve smart irrigation system screen shot 2014 08 19 at 2 44 53 pm

Now that this whole Internet of Things zeitgeist has really stated to take hold, sensors and other connected gizmos have become fairly common household items. But as the space becomes increasingly crowded, smart devices are starting to move outside the walls of your home. More and more, they’re pushing outward and taking over your lawn and garden.

Case in point: Eve — the latest entrant into the growing category of smart irrigation systems. We’ve definitely seen this kind of contraption in the past, but that’s not to say that Plaid Systems, the company behind the device, doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s quite the contrary, actually.

The other systems we’ve seen, such as Lono and Rachio, rely solely on their Internet-connected brains to determine the best time to water your yard. They tap into weather stations and geological databases to figure out stuff like what kind of soil you’re sitting on, or when a storm is about to roll through. This information is fairly accurate, and can definitely help you save some money on your water bill, but it’s also not particularly precise.

Related: Iro smart sprinkler system hits shelves in Home Depot

adamneveTo solve this problem, Eve takes a slightly different approach. In addition to tapping into the cloud to gather weather data and soil conditions in your area, the system also sports an array of sensors you can place around your yard. These little “Adam” spikes are designed to stick into your soil and measure moisture and temperature. It’s actually got sensors running along the entire spike, so it can take readings from both above and below ground. In a nutshell, this allows Eve know exactly whats going on in your particular patch of land, rather than merely using the Web to pull information about the broader region you’re in. Presumably, this increased accuracy makes the system more efficient.

With the help of the connected Adam sensors, Eve knows precisely when to water your yard and exactly how much water to give it. If a rainstorm just passed over, for example,  the moisture sensors will recognize the moisture change and intelligently adjust your watering schedule accordingly. If it’s too hot out, the system might hold off and move the watering time to later in the evening when there’s a lower chance of water loss due to evaporation.

And to top it all off, Eve’s creators built the system to be compatible with Smart Things — an ecosystem of connected devices that was recently acquired by Samsung for $200M. Ostensibly, this means that the system will be able to interact with other smart home devices right out of the box.

Eve isn’t quite available for purchase just yet, but its creators have turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for the first full-scale production run. If you back the project now, you can lock down the Eve controller for $150, whereas each individual Adam sensor will put you back another $50. You’ll also need to have a Smart Things hub connected to your network in order for everything to work, which raises the cost of entry another $100. All in all, the upstart costs are definitely a bit on the steep side, but when you consider how much this system could save you on your water bill, it starts to look much more reasonable.

Emerging Tech

Michigan’s former transportation chief has some advice for wannabe smart cities

After 31 years as Michigan’s transportation director, Kirk Steudle has seen it all, particularly with smart city projects. He spoke with Digital Trends recently about what makes smart cities work, and offers advice along the way.
Smart Home

Ecobee announces Black Friday deals on smart thermostats and smart switches

Ecobee's 2018 Black Friday deals are live. Ecobee's smart thermostats and smart wall switch are compatible with smart home voice assistant systems including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo Show vs. Lenovo Smart Display

The Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display are two popular smart displays, but which one is right for you? Learn about the displays, speakers, capabilities, and other important features before you decide which to buy.
Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Smart Home

This old-school bus is now a solar-powered home on wheels

Michael Fuehrer of Nowhere Navigation decided to gut an old yellow school bus and turned it into a tiny home on wheels, complete with a full kitchen and shower inside and a solar panel on top.
Product Review

Tovala cooks delicious, idiotproof meals healthier than takeout. For a price

The Tovala Steam Oven is a countertop appliance that can serve up dinner in about 20 minutes with zero prep. The drawback is that the ready-to-heat meals, while tasty, are $12 each.
Smart Home

Cloud slime, butter slime, scented slime -- we have your next DIY project covered

We researched dozens of different ingredients and tried several slime recipes. While some recipes are generally pretty safe, others are questionable at best. Which recipes should you use, and which should you avoid?
News

Drinkworks and Keurig have created a pod-based cocktail machine

HomeBar, a collaboration between Drinkworks and Keurig, creates cocktails the easy way. The machine creates mixed drinks of all kinds. All you have to do is insert in the pod for the drink you want.
Product Review

Glas may be gorgeous, but this spendy thermostat is no smarter than the rest

A stunning OLED screen tops the prettiest thermostat we’ve reviewed in years. But GLAS lacks the brains required to justify its premium price. Read more about it in our full review.
Smart Home

Thanksgiving in an Instant ... Pot? Here are our favorite recipes

Did you know you can cook the majority, if not all, of your Thanksgiving menu items in your Instant Pot? It's all about picking the right recipes. These are our picks for the best Instant Pot recipes for Turkey Day.
Smart Home

You can now use Amazon Echo Buttons to set up multitasking Routines

Amazon announced that its Echo Buttons now work with Routines. You can craft custom Routines — multiple tasks performed together — and have Alexa carry out the command for you when you hit the Echo Button.
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.
Deals

Here are the best Amazon Echo and Google Home deals for Black Friday

Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers compete head to head when it comes to smart home tech. Whether you're a fan of Alexa or Google Home, we've found the best prices on your favorite smart home devices.