Natural Balance self-watering planter makes caring for houseplants effortless

Though a proper potted plant adds a particularly dynamic dimension to one’s home, the sheer act of continuously watering a plant (correctly, mind you) leaves many believing their thumbs aren’t quite as green as they’d hoped. This houseplant pitfall is something a Dutch design company by the name of Studio Lorier hopes to remedy with its new self-watering planter, which it has dubbed the Natural Balance — no relation to Dick Van Patten’s line of pet food. The firm recently took to the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter in an effort to get its innovative new invention off the ground.

Void of any smart sensors or levers, the Natural Balance relies solely on a water-permeable accessory, along with its own shape, to pull off the impressive feat of sparing plant owners from the chore of watering. Owners simply fill the pot with potting soil and a plant of their choosing, fill the water reservoir with water, and sit back while the planter does all the work. Over the course of several days — and even up to four weeks — the Natural Balance’s water-permeable part gradually deposits water into the soil only when the plant requires it.

Aside from its innovative watering port, the Natural Balance’s design allows it to alert users of an empty reservoir without requiring the use of any smartphone applications or digital readers. After unloading the last bit of water into the soil, the planter simply tips over, signaling it’s time to refill it with water. Once full, it rocks back to its original position. Because each plant capable of living in the Natural Balance will likely vary dramatically in size, Studio Lorier included an easy-to-use magnetic slider allowing owners to adjust the planter’s pivot point.

Each planter is handmade by the Netherlands-based studio. To continue to be able to do this, the firm says the funds raised via the Kickstarter campaign will be used to purchase a larger kiln, a new set of molds, a bulk purchase of raw materials, and a set of specialized tools. As of this writing, the campaign had already raised $8,670 toward its original goal of $7,460 with roughly two weeks remaining.

Studio Lorier allows early adopters to purchase the Natural Balance planter for an early bird price of just $39 (while supplies last), which is $23 cheaper than the suggested retail price of $62. Constructed out of high-quality ceramic, Studio Lorier offers its innovative planter in a mint green, pastel pink, and cool gray.

Smart Home

It does everything you can imagine, but the Instant Pot Max has one major flaw

Instant Pot Max has more cooking functions and features than the Duo and most other IP models. Is the Max worth the higher price tag? We tested it out to find out. Here's what we like and don't like about it.
Smart Home

Power through your afternoon slump with the best espresso machines

Brew professional-style espresso drinks and become the envy of your neighborhood with one of the best espresso machines on the planet. We have options across a range of price points, perfect for any budget.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Emerging Tech

Curiosity collects first clay sample, could provide evidence of ancient water

The Curiosity rover's adventures on Mars continue with an exploration of the clay-rich bedrock in a part of Mount Sharp. Clay minerals are of particular interest as they could indicate that there used to be water present on the surface.
Smart Home

Philips Hue users can activate their favorite routines through Google Home

Philips Hue expanded its Google Home integration through the Gentle Sleep and Wake routine. Just give Google the proper instructions are your lights will brighten or dim over half an hour.
Smart Home

There will be 200 million smart speakers by year’s end, analysts say

A new report by the research and analysis firm Canalys predicts that more than 200 million smart speakers will be engaged by users by the end of 2019, which is a growth of over 82% from last year.
Product Review

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Smart Home

SMEG debuts colorful dual-fuel Portofino 48-inch ranges for no-compromise cooks

When SMEG launches new kitchen appliances, you can count on retro-classic design, gorgeous high-end finishes, envy-inducing functional wizardry, and lofty prices. This week SMEG launched its Portofino Dual-Fuel 48-inch Pro-Style Range.
Deals

Walmart offers big price cuts on air fryers from La Gourmet and Farberware

Walmart made deep price cuts on air fryers from La Gourmet, Farberware, and others. Air frying is faster, healthier, and easier to clean than traditional deep frying. You also can use most air fryers for baking, roasting, and grilling.
Deals

Amazon drops a killer Instant Pot deal, with prices under $60

Instant Pots are the popular kitchen device known for making cooking easier and faster. Thinking of finally getting yourself one? Amazon dropped the price of the Instant Pot Duo Mini. Prepare delicious meals this Easter Sunday with this…
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Smart Home

Miele stuns with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and other new products

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.