Using Bluetooth to do the gardening – Parrot Flower Power – EFTM

Using Bluetooth to do the gardening – Parrot Flower Power

Have you ever killed a plant?  You wanted it to live, you hoped you could look after it, but alas it just didn’t make it.  The people who are...
Parrot Flower Power

Have you ever killed a plant?  You wanted it to live, you hoped you could look after it, but alas it just didn’t make it.  The people who are most famous for their flying Drone technology have the device for you – from Parrot, the Flower Power.

Parrot Flower Power

Parrot Flower Power

Parrot are world renowned for their bluetooth audio solutions for hands-free calling and headphones.  Here in Australia they are probably best known for the AR.Drone – the quadcopter you can fly using your tablet or smartphone as the controller while all the time recording video from the Drone itself – all very cool stuff.

The Jade plant we chose to monitor

The Jade plant we chose to monitor

I’m not quite sure what plant the management team at Parrot were smoking when they let the conversation about this new product go past the introduction but it turns out they are a smart bunch of cookies who may just have found a way to harness the cool technology we carry around with us to help us keep our precious garden alive.

Parrot Flower Power

Parrot Flower Power

The Parrot Flower Power is a small plastic device you just stick in the soil close to your plant.  Using Bluetooth SMART – the low power Bluetooth technology which works with iPhones from the 4S upward, and the iPad 3rd generation and later to transmit data while using very low power and thus keeping the device battery going for much much longer.

Here’s how it works.  You unpack your Flower Power and throw in a single AAA Battery.  Stab the device into the ground where the underground sensors will start to monitor moisture and fertiliser, while above the ground the plastic “stick like” device will monitor temperature and light.  Download the free app on your iPhone or iPad, and start your own digital garden.

Parrot Flower Power - To do in my garden

Parrot Flower Power – To do in my garden

Using a database of 6,000+ plants you can either search or browse for your plant.  Once located you add it to your “Garden” and then pair that plant with your Flower Power device.

Wait 24 hours and the results start to come in.  You’ll get advice on sunlight, watering, fertilising and temperature.

On day one the Jade plant at my mother-in-law’s home was pleading for water and more sunlight – as if the app had become a voice for this previously unheard plant.

If you’re nearby the plant, you can even view the data in real-time basically streaming from the device, but in day-to-day use your data will download when you get in range of the plant.  Pop-up alerts will remind you what to do and when so your plants should never go hungry again!

You’re looking at $79.99 for this baby, but the price is the only negative I found.  Oh, and if you want to monitor multiple plants – that’s multiple devices.  Although you can move the device around from plant to plant, but each time it would require at least a full day to make an assessment of the plant’s needs.

Amazing stuff, and available now at Apple Stores and Apple online.

Parrot Flower Power
Date Published: 11/12/2013
A Bluetooth plant monitor which syncs with your iOS devices to give you care advice for the plant
4 / 5 stars

 

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Tech

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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