TORONTO – Wilted, starving, thirsty houseplants could soon be getting more tender loving care thanks to a new plant sensor and app that tells owners when it is time for watering and feeding.
The Koubachi Wifi Plant Sensor, which is placed in the soil of the potted plant, connects with a smartphone app that alerts users when plants need watering, misting, fertilizer or more sun or shade.
“There’s very little information when you buy a plant. Most of the time there’s a little sticker that will say it needs a medium amount of light and water every few days. But that’s very rough and doesn’t apply for most plants,” said Phillipp Bolliger, the inventor of the system and CEO of Koubachi AG, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland.
The sensor collects data such as soil moisture, light intensity and ambient temperature, which is sent to the app, available for iOS devices and through the web.
The care plans were developed in conjunction with plant physiologists at ETH Zurich, the Swiss Institute of Technology. Bolliger said the plant care plans can be accessed through the app without purchasing a sensor, but they are more accurate when paired with it.
The app, which is free, is available worldwide from the App Store in English and German and there are plans for French and Japanese versions.