Technological efficiency moves outside the house

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 11:38

Technological advancements give homeowners more control over their houses now than ever before. In a world where more people are growing concerned about the environment and what they can do to leave a positive impact on it, many are turning to innovations in technology for the answer.
The ability to transform a home into a smart house comes with many advantages that will not only affect the ecosystems around a building, but the wallets of those living inside as well. Solar panels provide people with clean and sustainable energy, and radiant heaters offer a much more efficient way to warm a house, but efforts can be made outside of the home too. Regulating the best heating system limits the waste of resources that goes on in abodes all over the world, but what about the gardens and yards people maintain?
A smarter gardenWhile homeowners' attempts to cultivate their land bring many benefits for nature, sometimes the methods used to grow plants can do more harm than good, much like conventional forced-air heaters. The ordinary American homestead uses around 320 gallons of water a day, and about 30 percent of that is dedicated to outside of the house, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This occurs from frequent practices such as over-watering and not taking advantage of natural irrigation, but a new device for the gardening and landscaping arsenal might give people an edge in regulating the resources used to maintain a yard and the plants' chances for survival.
EDYN is a tool that collects data from anything like a house garden to a small farm and uses it to provide homeowners with insights for the best approaches to make the plant life thrive, reported Inhabitat. The device is lodged into the ground with a stake and relays information on its surroundings through a house's Wi-Fi to the gardener's phone for real-time updates and observations.
The company that created EDYN was started by Jason Aramburu, a soil scientist who studied ecology and evolutionary biology, as an attempt to help people better grasp the habitat around them, according to Gizmag. Aramburu worked everywhere from rainforests in Panama to farms in Africa before coming up with the idea for EDYN and the potential it has for aiding people in their horticultural quests.
To grow a plant, you have to think like a plantEDYN is a sustainable and clean-energy device that runs completely off of solar energy from a panel installed at the top, reported The Next Web. Using a series of sensors scattered throughout the device, EDYN measures the temperature, light exposure and humidity of a garden. It synchronizes with local weather information to notify homeowners of changing conditions and approaching rainfall so they can better manage their flora.
A sensor located in the stake beneath the ground uses electrical conductivity in the dirt to measure the moisture in the soil, its nutrition and pH level for an array of information never before so readily accessible, according to Gizmag. Using this assortment of knowledge, EDYN can suggest plant types that would do best in the environment.
The company's other device, the Water Valve, hooks up to a hose or sprinkler to regulate the amount of water given to the garden based off of its moisture levels as well as weather patterns to give homeowners the most effective watering system that only runs when the plants need water.
Much like how a smart house can control radiant heaters for maximum efficiency, EDYN and the Water Valve can effectively transform the operations in a lawn or garden so that the least amount of resources are wasted and the most money is saved.