In case robots weren't on their way to taking over your life enough already, now you can program one to water your plants exactly the way you want it done.
Droplet looks a little like R2-D2's head but functions as a sprinkler system. Using a smartphone or similar device, the user can enter the type, location and other data into Droplet so it can determine how much water the plant needs and how often. It then automatically waters the plants on schedule. The product officially launched Tuesday.
Founder Steve Fernholz credits his mom with giving him the idea for Droplet. His sloped yard needed to be watered but there was no easy way to implant an underground irrigation system. So his mother stood outside and watered all the trees using a regular garden hose. This sparked a plan in Fernholz's mind.
"I went into my garage, had a remote control airplane that I actually took apart and used some of the parts to make a replica in a couple of days. And it served my purpose, watering these trees and keeping them alive," he told Mashable. "I was sort of my first customer."
The device also takes into account the climate and recent weather patterns that could affect the watering schedule and adjusts it accordingly, enabling Droplet to conserve resources. The company claims their product reduces water output by 90% and saves the average user $263 per year. The annual savings is about $40 less than the price of the system, which rings up at $300. In comparison, a regular attachable sprinkler head from Home Depot will only set you back about $10.
Fernholz said that while currently, Droplet is only available to homeowners, it will soon go commercial. He confirmed that Droplet is in talks with one of the largest agricultural suppliers in the world to create a corporate version of Droplet.
"You can water entire crops without wasting any water," Fernholz said. "You look at places where water is scarce ... Droplet can help those people grow crops that they wouldn't normally be able to grow because the water needs are too high."
The programmable sprinkler joins the ranks of other products collectively known as the Internet of Things. As smart household items like Nest become more cohesive, rumors have been flying that Apple and Google are planning smart home concepts.
Below is a brief explanation of the Internet of Things:
Tags: APPS AND SOFTWARE, GADGETS, SMART HOME, SMARTPHONE, Tech, THE INTERNET OF THINGS