Oso Technologies unveiled its “smart” sensor, which tells users when to water their plants, through the online crowdfunding site Kickstarter on Friday, Jan. 4. Within hours they already had hundreds of backers and had reached more than 22% of their funding goal.
After a year of product development, Oso’s Plant Link system is poised to be the most useful and affordable home garden water sensor on the market.
“I had the idea for this product because my wife and I had a basil plant that kept dying,” says Eduardo Torrealba, co-founder and CEO of Oso. “There wasn’t a product out there that would give me a continuously updating readout of the soil moisture level of my basil.”
Oso is pursuing a Kickstarter campaign in order to manufacture its first batch of the Plant Link product.
“Up-front manufacturing costs are expensive, so Kickstarter will help us raise money to get the product into the hands of interested customers,” says Austin Lyons, co-founder and web programmer of Oso.
Kickstarter.com allows individuals or companies like Oso to raise money for a project or product before it’s created. Interested individuals can financially back Plant Link at various levels, and if the project’s $75,000 goal is met, backers receive the version of the product that corresponds with their level of support.
Plant Link consists of a base station that plugs into an internet connection, along with individual, wireless “links” that measure the soil moisture around a plant. A user places a small, cylindrical “link” in the ground near a plant, and it sends a signal to his or her computer and smartphone through the base station with a notification that it’s time to water.
In addition to these notifications, Oso has developed a smart valve add-on, which can water a user’s outdoor plants or lawn automatically when water levels are low. It will also provide an option to manually control the valve through a smartphone app.
Those interested in backing Plant Link can visit Oso’s Kickstarter page from Jan. 4 – Feb. 3 to support the project. Several pledge levels will be available. Users can pledge toward a basic system including the base station and three links for as low as $79.
About Oso Technologies
Oso Technologies was founded in 2011 by five engineering graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is located at the EnterpriseWorks incubator in the Research Park. They are the makers of Plant Link, a moisture monitoring system for plants, home gardens and lawns. Learn more about Oso at their website, www.oso.tc or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OsoTechnologies.