Thanks to a slew of sensors, Grovio takes the hassle out of houseplant care

grovio smart plant watering img 20170501 100439
Office and home flora brighten any room — not to mention reduce carbon dioxide, keep air temperatures down, and get rid of pollutants like benzene. But they can be a pain in the rear to care for. If you don’t find them a sunny window and an ideal humidity, it’s pretty much game over — you’ll be staring at wilting, browning leaves before long.

But there’s hope for folks without green thumbs in Grovio, a project from Concepter that aims to take the guesswork out of plant care.

There’s more to Grovio, a 11.8-inch-tall, 1-pound cylinder that connects to a tube and “pot module,” than meets the eye. It packs a light intensity sensor, moisture sensor, air temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and motion sensor that monitor up to three plants simultaneously. And it automatically waters plants according to their specific needs, dispensing tap water from a refillable reservoir (1,600 milliliters) to connected probes.

grovio smart plant watering pic 10

“When habitable conditions are not provided, it usually kills [plants] quickly,” Oleksandr Ivanov, Grovio’s chief product engineer, told Digital Trends. “That’s because your plants can’t talk and express directly what they need. They may need very careful and accurate watering. Some of them need more light, and some less. Air temperature and humidity are also highly important.”

It’s a hands-off affair if you want it to be. Grovio lasts for up to 45 days on a single water refill and four AA batteries, and adjusts watering rates based on plant type. But if you prefer to be hands-on with your greenery, Grovio’s “suggestions” mode will nudge you to make small changes that could help with growth. If Grovio detects that a plant is receiving too much direct sunlight, it’ll tell you to move it somewhere shadier.

Grovio’s smartphone app lets you get even more granular. It relays watering settings and current soil conditions for your horticultural pleasure. You can name plants, if you wish, and “interact” with them in a chatbot-like interface — if you name your African Violet “Johnny,” for instance, you’ll get a message from the personified plant when it’s “thirsty.”

grovio smart plant watering img 20170501 100727

Grovio isn’t compatible with smart home platforms like Samsung’s SmartThings and Apple’s HomeKit, but it works with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa.  You can say things like, “Have you monitored my plant yet?” and you’ll get a response.

One thing Grovio can’t do is fine-tune settings for individual plant species, which Ivanov said would have stretched the company’s engineering resources too thin. “You have to build a database of thousands of plants,” he said. “It’s too much work.” Instead, Grovio will encourage users to send pictures of plants to support staff, who will recommend settings based on climatic conditions, genus, and other factors.

Grovio starts at $150. It launches on Kickstarter today for the discounted price of $90, and begins shipping to backers in November.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Perlick brings a bigger, bolder version of its high-tech fridge to KBIS 2019

Milwaukee-based manufacturer Perlick has been making refrigerators for nearly 50 years. It will be unveiling a bigger, bolder version of its popular column refrigerator at KBIS 2019.
Outdoors

High-tech but low-key, these are the amazing materials inside your outdoor gear

We take a look at some of the materials that are used in the creation of our favorite outdoor gear, making our jackets, sleeping bags, tents, and other items warmer, drier, and more comfortable even in harsh weather conditions.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Smart Home

Amazon may be close to opening its first cashier-free store outside U.S.

Amazon could be on the verge of opening its first cashier-free store outside of the U.S. after a recent report claimed the company has secured retail space for a location in central London.
Smart Home

Ready for his close-up: Another man was caught licking a Ring video doorbell

A man in Lake Worth, Florida was caught on film licking a family's video doorbell. This makes the second incident like this in just over a month, after another doorbell licker was caught in California.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Roomba Robot Vacuums for Presidents’ Day

Spring cleaning is just around the corner, and Walmart has already begun dropping prices on Roomba, Shark, and Eufy robot vacuums. For a limited time, you can save as much as $150 on a brand-new iRobot Roomba.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day vacuum deals: Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell

Amazon and Walmart are offering pretty substantial savings to help kick-start your spring cleaning. Top brands like Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell are dropping prices left and right for Presidents' Day.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.
Smart Home

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and beyond.
Smart Home

Your office is a mess, and it’s making Marie Kondo cry. Here’s how to tidy it up

Here's how to "Marie Kondo" your office. If you've been inspired to remove clutter and create a minimalistic workspace that makes you happy and helps you focus on what matters, then we have ideas that you'll want to try.
Smart Home

Say so long to silver. Samsung brings new colors to household appliances

Samsung introduced two new appliance colors, Tuscan Stainless Steel will be available for several kitchen appliances starting in May and for the Family Hub in August. New Samsung washers and dryers will be offered in Champagne Finish.