Smart Home
Netro relies on the cloud and the sun to water your garden

Many homeowners rely on lawn sprinkler systems to water their gardens and lawns. However, traditional lawn sprinkler systems tend to waste a lot of water and don’t always do a great job supplying water exactly where it’s needed.

Netro is a watering system designed for easy use in residential irrigation and is made up of the Sprite cloud-based watering controller and Whisperer, a solar-powered plant sensor. It works in conjunction with an app for Android and iOS mobile devices. Netro helps to reduce unnecessary water usage and keeps gardens healthy.

The Whisperer sensor wirelessly collects temperature, sunlight and moisture level in the soil that is then analyzed on the cloud server. Based on the collected data and the system’s advanced gardening knowledge, Netro customizes users’ watering schedules to suit their specific watering requirements, reducing overall water usage and taking pressure off both the environment and consumers’ budgets.

Netro ships late this year. Future pricing’s not clear. But Kickstarter backers can get Sprite alone when it becomes available in November for a pledge starting at $99, Whisperer alone when it becomes available in December for a pledge starting at $49, a full Netro system for a compact garden when it becomes available in December for a pledge starting at $199, a version of the system for a standard garden in December for a pledge starting at $229, a version for a full garden in December for a pledge starting at $299, and a version for a double garden in December for a pledge starting at $499. Its makers hope to raise $25,000 by Oct. 20.

Netro isn’t the first smart home product designed to help water lawns and gardens, following systems including Growver that also promised Windows mobile device compatibility but failed to get Kickstarter funding. Among the few obvious negatives of Netro is that it only works on Android 5.0, iOS 8.0 and later devices for those operating systems, limiting the number of consumers who can use it.

 

Jeff Berman is a Long Island-based freelance reporter, who has also contributed stories to publications including TheStreet and the consumer electronics magazines Dealerscope and TWICE. He previously worked as a senior editor and deputy managing editor of the trade newsletter Consumer Electronics Daily, published by Warren Communications News.