‘Smart pot’ watches over house plants

‘Smart pot’ watches over house plants

LAS VEGAS - Parrot is ramping up its Flower Power with a pot that not only detects whether plants have enough light and fertilizer, but waters them as needed.

A Parrot "smart pot" is heading for global release this year at a price yet to be revealed by the Paris-based company known for drones and in-car communications and audio.

Sensors in pots measure light, moisture, temperature, and the level of fertilizer to determine whether plants are getting proper amounts of each to flourish, Vanessa Loury of Parrot told AFP on Sunday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"There is also water in the pot so it will water the plants for you," Loury said.

Each pot holds enough water to irrigate a plant for several weeks to a month, depending on the type.

If plants need more light or fertilizer, alerts are fired off through free Flower Power applications available for mobile devices powered by Apple, Android or Windows software.

A database compiled with help from scientists boasts a catalogue of more than 7,000 plants from herbs, to flowers, to teas to Cannabis.

The smart pot builds on technology in a Flower Power sensor released about two years ago for use with plants in old-fashioned dumb pots.

"This is not a crazy idea," Loury said. "This is something we are really interested in." Parrot also works with farmers to survey crops with drones equipped with cameras that scrutinize leaves to determine when fertilizer is needed, according to Loury.

"It is a green approach, and a cost saving for the farmer as well," she said.

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