A Collectible Soil Sensor
In Gujarat, India, maintaining plants and gardens in homes is next to impossible given the extreme weather conditions of the region.
Bloom was designed to tackle this issue. Bloom is a collectable soil sensor that can be placed into any pot with a plant. The sensor will give you all the information you need about the plant to take care of it on your phone!
The sensor has an inbuilt database of plant soil moisture requirements. When placed in the soil, it is able to recognise the water requirements of the plants and give the users suggestions about how much more water needs to be added to the soil via a mobile application. This feature helps bridge the information gap between soil moisture levels and plant requirements making it a one of a kind device!
Bloom is a soil sensor that uses a series of smart technologies, namely data analytics, to stand out from the plethora of soil moisture sensors available in the market.
A boundary map for a project is set by studying various trends that are related to the
domain of the project. Here, we studied various trends related to balconies such as
outdoor trends, architectural trends, home innovation trends, user buyer patterns etc.
A boundary map is a combination of three things. A project intent, a userbase and an area of execution. We studied all these three factors in relation to our domain.
Helping people belonging to the Upper Middle Class section of society within the age brackett of 40 to 60 years old, living in Ahmedabad, connect to the outer world through their balcony.
We conducted user studies using three different methods; Personal Interviews, Metaphor Elicitation Technique(inspired by Z MET Analysis) and Experience Maps. Of these, Personal Interviews is the most common and direct means of obtaining information.
We used a deductive sense making process to cluster data points (containing behaviors, emotions etc) to create major clusters such as a gardening cluster, a 'me time' cluster and so on.
The main aim of this study was to understand all the experiences associated with a balcony and then clustering this data into major categories.
Of all the different data points that we synthesized, we found the cluster associated with gardening to be the most relevant and promising.
Our data synthesis revealed that gardening goes beyond being just a hobby. For our users, gardening is a source of pride!
An insight on it's own cannot be translated into a product. Keeping this in mind, we drafted an opportunity statement comprising the latent needs of our users, the supporting behavior patterns and the problems identified in the domain (the gardening cluster in this instance).
Can we create an opportunity for people to connect to nature by engaging in gardens that can be sustained in their balcony?
To generate unique ideas we held a design workshop. We presented these ideas to our possible users. The idea of a smart soil sensor was the one that was selected multiple times.
The most common idea in the workshop was one of a smart soil sensor, that helps to take care of the users' plants using real time tracking and data analytics.
Having an innovative idea does not ensure its success in the market. The bridge between technology and user experience happens through good design and smart product strategy. We derived a meaning of collectibles for our product from our value proposition, “Making Data Beautiful.”
The idea behind collectibles is to tell a story. Each sensor can be a different part of a collectible set that comes together to tell a bigger story in your garden.
The final design is that of a barrel windmill that is designed in such a way that it will belong to any garden. The barrel windmill is just one part of a massive barrel civilization that includes mines, towers, etc, and comes together to tell the story of one’s balcony.
Build your own story with these smart soil sensors that give you all the information you need to take care of your plants according to the weather conditions of your area, with a design that compliments the aesthetic of any garden.
The features that were added for the MVP were a soil moisture sensor, mood lighting and an augmented reality feature.
This is the feature that makes the device accessible to our users. It takes into account our value proposition, which is making data beautiful. In essence, what that means is providing information to the users in away that is simple and understandable.
A mobile application allows all the resources and features of the product to be controlled in a very simple way with a device at the palm of your hands. The following few sections are a compilation of the process of developing the application and it’s features.
The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks efficiently.
Based on the user flow, medium fidelity screens are made with the consistent guidelines.
We created high fidelity screens according to the wire frames and also created prototypes of the transitions.
“A designers' job is not limited to finding the best way to solve a user's problem but also to identify the perfect problem to design for.”
This project changed the way we understand and perceive a simple everyday activity like gardening and turn it into a business viable opportunity. This project went on to be selected at the Karnavati Incubation and Innovation Foundation as a potential startup project.