Dig­ging up some dirt on plant life


Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

iWorld Aus­tralia, $to­come iworl­don­line.com.au ★★★

GAR­DEN­ERS reg­u­larly talk to their plants. Now, sci­ence has devel­oped a way for plants to talk back. Is your pot plant feel­ing thirsty? Sun­burnt? Too cool? The Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sen­sor will let you ask your favourite flora via the in­ter­net or alert you when con­di­tions aren’t go­ing its way.

This gad­get ar­rives in an unas­sum­ing form— it’s shaped like the top of a golf club — yet it’s packed with tech­nol­ogy. A sen­sor in its spike can mea­sure soil mois­ture, while two sen­sors up top de­ter­mine tem­per­a­ture and light in­ten­sity.

Th­ese sen­sors and its wi-fi con­nec­tion are pow­ered by two AA bat­ter­ies. Users must also have ac­cess to an Ap­ple iOS de­vice to set the de­vice up and ac­cess its plant li­brary.

We tested the Koubachi with an out­door laven­der plant— a job that would have been eas­ier had our wi-fi stretched fur­ther. Users will need to pick plants close to a router.

Once an in­ter­net link was made, plant care via the in­ter­net be­came a lot eas­ier. The Koubachi app de­liv­ers up­dates on its mois­ture lev­els, whether the plant needs mist­ing or fer­til­is­ing, whether it’s too hot or has too much or too lit­tle sun­light (avail­able af­ter three-day and seven-day anal­y­sis).

The Koubachi app is not as sta­ble as it should be, mak­ing set-up tricky, and our plant un­help­fully sent emails ev­ery two min­utes when it couldn’t con­nect to the in­ter­net. Af­ter iron­ing out the kinks, this is an in­no­va­tive and use­ful prod­uct for green thumbs and those who as­pire to be them.

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