iPhone Farmers: Remote Control Growing
Hydroponic grow box lets users monitor their plants and adjust the environment from any mobile device.
Facebook’s Farmville players should be excited to learn that online farming will soon be more than virtual reality. MicroGrow’s LabBox, expected to start shipping in January 2011, is a fully automated hydroponic grow box that allows users to monitor and control temperature, light and water levels right from their iPhones.
How It Works:
The LabBox is entirely self-contained, using high-intensity LEDs in combination with an automated drip irrigation and nutrient delivery system. The technology inside the box includes a PicAxe 14M micro-controller and on board sensors that gather information about the environment. When the system is hooked up to a computer, the LabBox Server software lets remote growers access this data and make instant adjustments from any mobile device. It even works with Twitter, so users can get live updates from their plants and share crop information with other growers as tweets.
Also worth mentioning: the LabBox is also the smallest hydroponic system on the market, measuring only 5.40 x 5.20 x 1.44 inches. This makes it the perfect choice for office cubicle workers, city dwellers with limited space, or anyone who wants to grow a particular type of herb in their closets.