It can be challenging, growing delicate plants from seeds. A group of Korean entrepreneurs is out to make the process easier – and techier – with the Wi-Fi-connected, water-pump-equipped and smartphone-controlled Bloomengine.
Users start by placing an included disc-shaped peat pellet in water, and allowing it to expand. That expanded pellet is then put in the bottom section of the Bloomengine, and a seed of the user's choice is added to the peat. Next, water and an included liquid fertilizer are poured into the device's built-in 40-oz (1.2-l) reservoir.
The top section is then put in place. Following a user-programmed schedule, a pump in the reservoir subsequently draws water up to and out of an overhead sprinkling system. Any water that doesn't get absorbed by the peat simply drains back into the reservoir for reuse.
Additionally, a full-spectrum LED light comes on for a predetermined amount of time each day, while an integrated fan circulates the air within the Bloomengine. And, if buyers opt for it, a downwards-facing HD camera can be used to record time-lapse footage of the plant as it grows.
The watering and lighting schedules are initially set using an accompanying iOS/Android app. That app also notifies users when the system is low on water – more can be added through the top of the device.
Once the plant has grown to the point that it's relatively robust, it's taken out of the Bloomengine and transplanted into a regular pot. For growing future plants, users can buy more peat pellets and fertilizer from the company, or just get third-party products from local stores.
Should you be interested, the Bloomengine is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$135 will get you the basic model, with $155 required for the camera-equipped version. Their planned retail prices are $169 and $199, respectively.
Potential backers might also want to check out Click and Grow's existing system.
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