Parrot Flower Power keeps you in touch with your garden

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Parrot, maker of the Parrot.AR drone, has created a smartphone plant monitoring system that consists of a smart wireless sensor that sends updates to your iPhone.

(Credit: Parrot)

Black thumbs? Parrot may have the solution for you, especially over the Australian summer. Its latest gadget is a wireless spike that you place in the soil around your plant's roots. Called Parrot Flower Power, it was made in collaboration with Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Washington University, Agrocampus Ouest in France and Topager's urban vegetable garden on the roof of AgroParisTech School to provide you with feedback about your plant's health.

The Parrot Flower Power sensors monitor the four most important things to keep your plants thriving: soil moisture, fertiliser, light and temperature and sends the data to your iOS device when you are within range (up to 25 metres away). This then allows you to take action.

It's not one size fits all, either; after all, different plants have different needs. Included in the app is a database of over 6000 plants, trees and vegetables across 2000 species so that you can give your plant the best possible care.

Every 15 minutes, the Parrot Flower Power takes a reading. The home screen of your app shows your monitored plants, and you can tap their photos to view an agenda that lists future tasks: what days you need to water and fertilise them and whether they might need to be taken outside for a day in the sun every now and again. A real-time graph of each plant's progress is sent to the Parrot Cloud for analysis.

A quick-view icon also allows you to know which plants need some love and care. A green icon means everything is going swimmingly, whereas a red icon means an action needs to be performed or completed.

The Parrot Flower Power will be available for AU$79.99 (plus the free app) from Apple and DIY stores starting sometime this month. A full listing of stockists will be available on the Parrot website.

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