Reinventing Indoor Gardening: Click and Grow Electronic Flowerpots
What if you could have a lovely indoor miniature garden, without actually watering and fertilizing the plants you grow? We received and interesting product concept that does just that. Click and Grow is an innovative method of taking care of plants the easy way. Based on clean soil-less growing technology and sensors inside, these ingenious pots measure all the necessary parameters and dose an exact amount of water, fertilizer and air, according to the plant’s needs. We were interested in knowing more about the system behind this idea, so we asked Mattias Lepp, CEO of Click and Grow, a few questions that revealed quite a few interesting facts.
- Freshome: How did you come up with this idea ?
- Click and Grow: About 6 years ago I read an article about the NASA space program where they grew plants in space without soil, using technologies like aeroponics and hydroponics. I got fascinated by the technology and built many growing systems by myself. One day I realized that many people have problems with plants and I started to develop small systems to use at home. During the development I understood that those technologies don’t fit to modern homes and we moved on with our own growing technology. I must say that our pots are just the first step, the perfect test platform for our goal – to grow fresh food in city environments and at home.
- Freshome: Tell us more things on how this new product works ( I’m pretty sure people are interested and clueless )
- Click and Grow: The process of plant growth is taken care of by sensors, processor and software in the pot, which measures all the parameters and doses an exact amount of water, fertilizer and air, according to the plant’s needs. The pot is using our own developed soil-less growing technology which takes best from hydroponics and aeroponics, but is expansion of those two. Click& Grow has two parts:
- The flowerpot – Click& Grow flowerpot includes electronics, sensors, batteries, a pump and a water reservoir. It does not include seeds, nutrients, a plant or software for growing the plant.
- The plant cartridge – inside a plant cartridge there are seeds, nutrients and special software for growing the plant in the cartridge.
- Click and Grow: The flowerpot and the plant cartridge work together like a printer. Just like you can change the empty printer cartridge, you can change the plant cartridge in the Click& Grow pot. If the plant’s natural life cycle ends, you can remove the old plant cartridge and insert a new one. Immediately the flowerpot will start to grow a new plant! For that you don’t have to buy a whole new flowerpot, instead you only have to change the cartridge. After placing the new plant cartridge into the flowerpot, it will install all the necessary data for growing the specific plant from the cartridge and the new plant starts to grow.
- Freshome: Until now how receptive are people to this new technology ?
- Click and Grow: As every year, more than 10 billion euros in houseplants are thrown away in the US and EU, most people have killed at least one plant and the problem is very familiar for everyone. More than 20,000 consumers from around the globe signed up even before we started the production. Although people are familiar with the problem they are quite surprised when they see the pot and many (maybe most) of them think that this is a magic. This is difficult to people to understand that plants can grow without soil and without watering but actually the technology is copied from the nature – in tropical climates orchids grow freely in trees and collect nutrients and water from the air.