Returning to the roots doesn’t necessarily require ditching your devices. Advanced networking technology and artificial intelligence may soon be as indispensable as a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground. GreenIQ, a “smart garden” start-up in Israel, has designed a system called the Smart Garden Hub that uses real-time sensors, computing power and wireless communications to provide for plant needs and reduce outdoor water consumption up to 50 percent.

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The Smart Garden Hub is an example of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), in which objects and tools are seamlessly networked to communicate with each other. Imagine controlling your home appliances, lighting, or heating/cooling system from your phone. However, the Internet of Things can do more than make everyday tasks easier. IoT has the potential to fundamentally change the way humans use energy and natural resources. According to a 2013 report, adoption of the Internet of Things over the next decade could reduce global greenhouse emissions by 9 billion tons.

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The Smart Garden Hub was designed to combat an important consequence of climate change: water scarcity. “It is our mission to make gardens smarter and allow people to feel more connected to their gardens, while protecting the planet at the same time,” says Odi Dahan, founder and CEO of GreenIQ. “GreenIQ was conceived on a cold, rainy day when nearby sprinklers came on despite a torrential downpour. At the time, I wondered how much water had actually been wasted. This served as the impetus behind developing a solution that would allow easy control of an irrigation system via a smartphone, while also being able to dynamically respond to ground conditions and weather forecasts.”

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Since last summer, Smart Garden Hub users have collectively saved over two million gallons of water. Beyond household use, the Smart Garden Hub is well suited for professional gardeners, irrigation companies, commercial real estate and municipalities. Currently, the Smart Garden Hub only coordinates the garden’s watering system. However, GreenIQ is teaming up with If This Then That, fellow Internet of Things start-up, to share knowledge and build the Hub’s capacity beyond sprinklers and into the home. IoT technology is relatively young, but the seed has been planted. Smart water conservation will only grow.

The Smart Garden Hub is now available at Home Depot for $249.00.

+ GreenIQ

Images via GreenIQ