Irvine, Calif. — Start-up home-automation supplier Blossom has developed a Cloud-connected sprinkler-system controller that it contended could cut water bills by up to 30 percent.
The device, also called Blossom, delivers only the amount of water needed to each section of the yard based on weather conditions and on the vegetation in each section. Blossom’s subscription-free Cloud service gathers local forecast and daily data from thousands of weather stations and satellites, and then uses algorithms to calculate water demand based on how soil moisture is being depleted by plants and replenished by rainfall. The Cloud combines the information with user feedback to create an optimized watering schedule, the company said.
The device can also be monitored and controlled from Android and Apple mobile devices and computers.
Blossom is priced at $179, about the same as a conventional outdoor 12-station sprinkler controller, and is promoted as the only sprinkler controller built for indoor and outdoor use. Consumers can preorder it at Kickstarter at $89 for early purchasers. Shipments start in January.
The company will exhibit at International CES and plans online sales through its website and other sites followed by brick-and-mortar sales. The company plans to sell “through the same channels now servicing the home automation space,” a spokesperson said.
The device connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or powerline-network technology.
Blossom can be installed by do-it-yourselfers in less than 15 minutes because it connects to an existing sprinkler system’s electrical wires, valve wires and sprinklers, the company said.
With powerline-network technology, the Blossom can be mounted in places where Wi-Fi signals are weak or unavailable. Many residential irrigation controllers are placed outside the house, usually on a wall, where Wi-Fi is limited, the company said. Others are installed in the garage in areas that also have limited Wi-Fi signal strength because, for example, the control might be placed behind a water heater.
The first Blossom prototype was built in the summer of 2013 and, after an initial funding round by the founders, Vizio and Accton invested. A Kickstarter campaign was then launched.