According to several studies, the smart greenhouse market is expected to grow substantially within the next few years. The key factors for this include the trend for indoor farming as well as the global demand for food due to the enormously growing population. Smart technology helping to reduce the amount of labor it takes to manage, monitor, and maintain a greenhouse can not only be beneficial for the agricultural industry, but also for passionate hobby gardeners who love to harvest their own food.
To find out more about the needs of hobby gardeners, we visited them, watched them doing their activities and asked them everything we wanted to know. Not only were some activities described as more "physically demanding" and "less fun" than others, but also making vacation plans and not being able to take care of their plants seemed to be a challenge for hobby gardeners. As a result, the idea of a self regulating environment operating these activities was greatly appreciated.
Inside the presented greenhouse, climatic conditions such as temperature, humidity and soil moisture are continously monitored and small variations in these climatic conditions trigger automated actions, e.g. opening the window, watering the plants etc. Users are able to examine these conditions and actions remotely through a mobile application on their smartphone or tablet.
The key element flowing through the entire app is the circle as it represents the life cycle on earth and expresses harmony. The outer outline of the icons acts as a measurement display of the climatic conditions and the plant growth through its ability to be filled up with an certain percentage of color.
The user interface of the mobile app allows the user to get insights into the growth process of plants and their current phase (e.g. seed germination, flowering period, harvest time etc.).