HydroArtPod hangs automated hydroponic garden on the wall
Many city dwellers don't have access to an outdoor garden but would still like to grow their own greens. HydroArtPod is the latest in a long line of indoor gardening devices looking to automate the cultivation of fresh greens in the home.
Many of the smart indoor gardening setups we've seen over the years have used crowdfunding platforms to raise production funds – though there are exceptions – and startup HydroArtPod is walking its device down that path too, having launched on Indiegogo last week.
"My mission was to feed my family fresh chemical-free food and make it look like beautiful art in the home," said HydroArtPod's Aline Pate, who has spent three years bringing the idea to life. "I came up with a product that solves the three main issues of growing at home; space, time, and not knowing how."
So, the idea here is to have the system itself do most of the work, with users just adding water now and again and harvesting fresh greens without getting their hands dirty. Users will need 10.7 sq ft (1 sq m) of free wallspace near a wall outlet to mount the device though.
Once up on a wall, the user loads the shelves with self-contained organic seed pods for herbs, leafy greens and vegetables like bell peppers and small tomatoes that include a growing medium, fills the 2.7-gal (10-L) water tank and powers the unit on.
A subscription-free companion app will notify the grower when to pop nutrient pods into the device, and when to top up the water tank. It will also supply detailed information on the chosen crops, and when best to harvest.
The hydroponic setup employs full-spectrum LED lighting and a cycling water system to keep plants sufficiently watered as the plants grow, with "smart sensors" tracking water use, lighting, humidity and nutrition levels and automatically adjusting as necessary.
The HydroArtPod will come fully assembled, will be available in black or white, offers occasional wipe clean convenience, and is reported to draw about the same electricity as a small aquarium pump. As with many other indoor growing systems, users will need to refresh proprietary seed pods to continue enjoying year-round fresh greens.
As of writing, Indiegogo pledges start at US$749 but that's set to rise in a few days. If all goes to plan with the already funded campaign, shipping is estimated to start in October. The video below has more.