Hopeless at plant care? A Wi-Fi Plant Sensor that can give you realtime information about a plant's vitality might be the answer. And it's a great example of a type of app that might flourish.
The Koubachi plant sensor gives your plants a voice. It measures temperature, light, and soil moisture and, being Wi-Fi enabled send the information to an iOS or web app letting you know when to mist, water or fertilize the plant.
The app has in-built information about plant care that takes account of species, climate zone and season but used in conjunction with the Wi-Fi sensor it can monitor the vitality of an individual plant.
It costs about $150 which isn't cheap, but it can be moved from plant to plant and so the cost can be spread.
Put this together with AMPS, the prize-winning Plant Sitter Robot from the Robotics@Home competition to ensure you never again kill off a valued plant through neglect.
You can see a promo video for the device below:
There is potentially a big market for smart devices like this to help with monitoring tasks that some humans find difficult.
What is surprising is that it is taking so long for such devices to make it to market, and when they do they seem not to be at a price that makes them disposable. Surely it is possible to create an almost disposable plant monitoring device, complete with a knowledge-based system that could help the average plant survive despite the lack of attention and incompetence of the average human? A simple WiFi, bluetooth or Zigbee connection would do the job, and if it was cheap enough you could plan on selling one-per-plant for swarm-like intelligent monitoring of every plant in a building.
Add an app for a mobile phone and the luckless plant owner could be woken in the middle of the night to be told that their favorite green buddy needed a drink....
There clearly is scope for a KickStarter type project here.