Over 50% of water used outdoors is wasted by evaporation, wind, or overwatering. While water waste may seem intangible since it absorbs straight into the ground or air, putting a number to the inefficient use of water helped us understand the need for a product that encourages everyday citizens to regulate their water supply. In particular, we hope to stay informed about water consumption and help other people stay informed on how they can cut back on waste from their own homes. Although sprinkler systems and other technologies help accomplish this goal, these systems are highly expensive, costing families thousands of dollars to install. Further, weather can be unpredictable and difficult to take into account alongside other important daily responsibilities. With summer coming up right around the corner, we hope to combat inefficient water use from gardening by introducing our app, Garden Smarter, Not Harder.
What it does
Our app allows ordinary gardeners as well as large scale farmers to regulate their crops and determine optimal times for watering their plants. By syncing our app with weather reports, we offer users a comprehensive calendar where they can plan out how often they water their plants, avoiding unnecessary overwatering by being alerted about rainy days. In addition, our app allows users to inventory their plants, both indoor and outdoors, across several different categories such as spruces or cactuses, helping them ensure that they won't accidentally forget about one! The common standard for outdoor gardening is to water about 2 inches each week (about once or twice a week depending on the type of plants and other conditions), and we hope to help users stay closer to the lower end of the spectrum of water consumption with the help of our app features.
How we built it
Our team collaborated on Android Studio using Java to build our app! We also used the Flutter SDK and Dart to implement the calendar feature since there was really good documentation available on the internet.
Challenges we ran into
One of our teammates had some prior experience using these technologies before, but Android Studio was new to the other two of us. It was definitely quite the learning curve to go from object oriented programming to building app pages using both Fragment and ViewModel files, but we were able to overcome some of the bugs we ran into by following tutorials and looking at Medium articles!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of creating functioning pages on Android Studio despite our previous unfamiliarity! In the process of making this app, we also learned a lot about gardening and water waste, which was very insightful.
What's next for Garden Smarter, Not Harder
To increase community impact, we hope to expand our app across neighborhoods so that users can compare their daily, weekly, and monthly usage of water to those around them. We believe that this spirit of friendly competition will help foster a community of individuals aiming towards more efficient water management. In addition, we would like to enable push notifications to be able to notify and remind users when watering day comes around each week. Another feature that we would like to implement is the ability for our app to analyze other weather conditions other than rain, such as humidity and wind, to be able to warn users about times of drought that may require extra watering.