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Dead-eye Droplet: The assassin of garden sprinklers

Dead-eye Droplet: The assassin...
Droplet works by selectively watering the plants in your garden
Droplet works by selectively watering the plants in your garden
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The Droplet
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The Droplet
Not a gardener? You may be able to conjure other uses for the Droplet
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Not a gardener? You may be able to conjure other uses for the Droplet
Droplet works by selectively watering the plants in your garden
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Droplet works by selectively watering the plants in your garden
Droplet knows what and where your plants are
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Droplet knows what and where your plants are
Droplet tracks its own water consumption
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Droplet tracks its own water consumption

There's no two ways about it: your common or garden sprinkler (so garden, in all probability) is a blithering half-wit. Rain or no, if you don't turn it off, it'll water your lawn whether it needs it or not, and much more besides. The Droplet wants to change all that. A sort of "smart" water cannon, it knows which parts of your garden to water, and when.

Droplet works by selectively watering the plants in your garden by jetting water directly at them rather than spraying hither and yon.

It can draw real-time info from 10,000 US weather stations, but factors in seasonal weather data, recent conditions and current forecasts to decide whether the plants need watering, and if so, by how much. It even looks at soil data and transpiration rates for different plants. It tracks its own water consumption, too.

Clearly some training is required, but Droplet's makers say the device takes five minutes to set up up using a laptop, tablet or smartphone. It's just a case of telling it what your plants are, and where.

Droplet will be released March 24, but is available to preorder from Amazon for US$299.99. Its makers claim that it can reduce sprinkler water consumption by up to 90 percent, and saves sprinkler users an average of $263 a year. If that proves accurate, a sprinkler with brains could be a worthwhile investment.

Droplet CEO Steve Fernholz tells Gizmag that Droplets will work outside of the US, and will ship internationally in the near future.

You can get an idea of Droplet's accuracy in the video on the Droplet website, as it fills four drinking glasses, apparently without spilling a drop.

Update, March 20, 2014: Droplet confirmed that the product will work outside the US. This point has been clarified in the article.

Source: Droplet, Amazon

4 comments
Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
Yes! Something that is smart and doesn't waste our precious resources. Water saving measures like this is the exactly reason why it's possible for some countries like the Netherlands to actually decrease their national yearly water consumption, even though the population used more water the year before that thanks to less water being wasted.
Nairda
My first thought is,... can it detect movement? :)
dodgy
Can it be modified to work as part of a home fire-fighting system? Surely it could be set up to detect embers?
Mel Tisdale
It would make a good intruder deterrent if fitted with directional PIR, though I don't suppose the wild-life would take too kindly to being doused in cold water.