[Review] “Flower Power” adds tech to gardening

Flower-logoI’m not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical about this one.

 

“It monitors your plants and tells you what you need to do” I was told.

 

I had to try it to believe it.

 

And I am glad to say that I am most definitely now a believer!

 

The Flower Power from gadget-experts, Parrot, is the perfect addition to your garden if you love using tech to help improve life.

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After a quick unboxing, and a skim through the ridiculously big instruction leaflet/encyclopaedia, I realised there was just 4 simple steps to get going….

  1. Insert the AAA battery
  2. Download the app
  3. Plant your Flower Power
  4. Be amazed!

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Once you’ve put in the battery, the tiny LED light does a bit of a wake up dance for a few seconds, and then goes back to sleep.

 

After starting the download of the app, I went and found a good guinea-pig to try planting the Flower Power into.

After finding none in the garden I chose the little Avocado that I have been nursing from pip to baby-shoots for the last couple of months.

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According to the lengthy manual, placement is quite critical, not covering it with any leaves or other obstacles, which makes sense. So by the time I had positioned it where I wanted it, it was time to get things going with the app.

 

Make no mistake about it, this little piece of tech is quite remarkable. But what really blew my mind, was the app!IMG_0132

The ease to set it up, great UI and UX and impressive data is really remarkable.

 

So first things first, pairing the Flower Power with the app was really easy, no major brain-surgery required.

Once it was paired, I then had to identify which flower the FP was monitoring for me. Thanks goodness it has a database of 7000 plants and counting, so it was pretty easy to find my common avocado or Persea Americana for you horticultural folks reading.

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Once the plant was selected, it was a handful of info I had to put in, like whether it was potted or in the ground, indoor or outdoor, and pick a nickname too. Nicknames are essential if you are monitoring your whole garden with multiple Flower Powers.

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What’s left? Just sit back and let the data roll in!

 

During the 1st 24 hours, the Flower Power gathers as much info regarding the 4 aspects that it monitors as it can, and will only let you view that data once the 24 hours is complete. During this time though, you can use the “Live” mode to get some quick readings, second by second.

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So the 4 aspects that the FP monitors is Water, Light, Fertiliser and Temperature levels.

The water level is measured through the dielectric permittivity of the soil. The more permittivity, the more moisture there is in the soil. (Science throw-down of the day)

The Fertiliser level is measured based on the conductivity in the soil. The conductivity is created thanks to ions in the soil, released from your fertilisers. The more ions, the more fertile the soil is.

The light measurement is simply taken from the luminosity, that hits the external sensor.

And finally, the temperature is taken by an external sensor, adding a bonus thermometer for those arguments about exactly how hot or cold it is outside.

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So now that we’ve got the science out of the way, how good are the sensors?

 

Well in my case, pretty darn awesome!

On a daily basis, I am able to see EXACTLY how my plant does, minute for minute. This for me is really awesome, because you just never really know if your plants are 100% happy. Could they do with a bit more direct sunlight? Too much moisture? What about the heat? See what I mean, there’s a lot happening on a daily basis.

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Once my 24 hours was up, I got an immediate push notification, once in blue-tooth range of course, that because I am growing an Avo, in a pot, I need to move it to get some more direct sunlight. I had it under an awning, which apparently was restricting a lot of light from getting to it.

Once I had move it, I had to either mark the notification as “done” or “ignored”, creating a little to-do section in the app.

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And once I had move it, the light ratings shot through the roof, and apparently little Avo was happy.

As soon as the fertility dropped below 1, I was prompted to top it up, which I duly did.

 

If I were to forget to water it for a few days in a row, I am sure I would get a warning about that too.(no plants were harmed in the making of this review)

And interestingly, with temperatures reaching in excess of 46 degrees Celsius, apparently this was not too hot for my little plant.

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I love the fact that one AAA battery will power this one Flower Power for between 6 and 8 months.

If ever Parrot has a firmware upgrade for the device, it will use your phone and your app to connect to the web and download it, and of course synchronise it across for you.

It utilises low energy blue-tooth, which means you will only get notifications when you are home and in range, but I suppose thats okay right?

“I am just heading home quick to top up my flower’s water. Will just be a jiff.” is not going to down well with your boss 🙂

 

What am I most impressed about? Well, according to Parrot’s website, RRP is $59 (about  R710), and this is really an acceptable price for what it could provide your garden.

 

But there is 3 things to add to that.

  1. If you are keen to get your fingers green with one of these bad boys, you can get it TODAY at our good friends, Digicape! R710, plus shipping, plus tax? Nope, think again… R599 and you walk away with one! (Green or Blue)DC Logo
  2. If you are still recovering from the December madness and are strapped for cash, then good news! Digicape is running a competition, where 2 people will walk away with a Flower Power of their own on the 1st of April (no jokes)! Enter now to get in with a chance.
  3. We will be giving away our review-unit of the Flower Power at our next event happening on the 9th of April. Follow the blog and all the social platforms to find out more details about the upcoming event…trust me, turn on your beacons and get there….it is going to be awesome!

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So you know what to do, and unfortunately, you really have no more excuses for your plants dying anymore….sorry.

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Get yours, and I guarantee you will love it!

 

Enjoy!

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