Now that Apple’s first sortie into smart home territory has been revealed, humanitarian underpants entrepreneur/ergonomic chair wizard/all-around industrial design superstar Yves Béhar is already vying to bring connectivity outside of the home and into the garden with a solar-powered, WiFi-connected smart horticulture system named Edyn.

While not, at this point anyway, an Apple HomeKit partner like Béhar’s much-anticipated August Smart Lock system due to launch later this summer, Edyn does fit snugly into the scheme of (the Internet of) things: it’s a clever little smartphone-controlled device outfitted with an array of sensors that monitor soil conditions, humidity, light, temperature, etc. all in an effort to help make you a smarter — or at the very least, more successful/less stressed out — gardener.

“Whether you’re a novice gardener or managing a small-scale organic farm, Edyn is there to take the guesswork out of gardening,” explains the Edyn Kickstarter campaign page. Although the crowdfunding campaign went live just earlier today, this brownthumb-reversing gizmo is already steadily on its way in reaching its $100,000 goal.

Edyn itself was designed by Béhar's design firm, fuseproject, in collaboration with young entrepreneur and Princeton-educated soil scientist, Jason Aramburu, who serves as the system’s founder. He explains in a press release:

Edyn was created with the belief that understanding our environment is the first step towards conserving it. It represents our commitment to helping gardeners of all levels have the best success possible in not only growing plants but creating a thriving garden and being part of a community of like-minded growers. We’re using hardware and data to deliver actionable insights that’ll help those gardeners achieve their goals.
Edyn operates in a similar fashion to other — but decidedly less robust —smart gardening tools. Simply insert the PV panel-topped device into the soil like you would an ordinary garden stake and the device’s sensors will send you real-time data about your garden’s conditions and overall health along with custom guidance and advice via a corresponding mobile app. The system is particularly helpful to truly green greenthumbs given that it can suggest particular plants — the system maintains a database of over 5,000 of them — based on specific environmental readings. Not only does Edyn want plants to thrive, but it wants you to thrive as a gardener as well.

One Edyn Garden Sensor can cover up to 250-square-foot of soil. The device can also be used indoors provided that there’s adequate ambient light/indoor grow lights for the solar panels to charge the battery. The device is completely resistant to sun, rain, and agricultural chemicals.

Perhaps the niftiest feature of the system is the separate Edyn Water Valve component that, like the Edyn Garden Sensor, connects wirelessly to the Edyn cloud and is solar-powered:

Let there be water — exactly when your plants need it and precisely the right amount. Unlike pre-set sprinklers, the Edyn Water Valve automatically controls your existing water system based on data collected by the Garden Sensor, and adapts to every change in the weather forecast. You’ll save water, lower your utility bills and never worry about thirsty plants again. You can also use the Edyn app to manually control the Water Valve, allowing you to water your plants from anywhere.
Lots more nuts and bolts on the features and benefits of Edyn can be found over at the Kickstarter. You can also pre-order a Garden Sensor for yourself with a pledge starting at $99 (when officially released, the sticker price will go up). A pledge of $159 with get you the whole shebang, both the Edyn Garden Sensor and the Water Valve. And this is cool: at the $175 contribution level, Edyn will not only send you a Garden Sensor (the ship dates are March and April of next year) but also donate a unit to a school through a partnership with Slow Food USA. Big spenders at the $1,000 level will receive the whole system plus a lunch date with Aramburu at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse in Berkeley.

Tech-savvy greenthumbs (or greenthumbs-in-the-making): Think you'll order the system for yourself?

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

This solar-powered plant sensor wants to make you a smarter gardener
The Internet of Things moseys on out to the back garden with Edyn, a connected garden system seeking crowdfunding cash on Kickstarter.