Moving to the country doesn’t have to mean losing touch with technology, all that’s needed to take advantage of the latest gadgets, apps, and clever devices is an internet connection and a bit of creative thinking.
After moving rurally, we were interested in how we could modernise the Cottage. We started by setting up security cameras, next came automating the lighting, heating, and TV’s. It got me thinking – what options are out there for the rural lifestyler?
It turns out growth is happening in this field – from gardening apps, water tank monitoring, robotic lawn mowers, FarmBots, automated stock feeding and coop doors, to the more common place home appliances and security devices. Embracing ‘Smart Home(stead)’ technologies onto your plot can provide convenience, comfort, entertainment and energy savings.
Initially Smart Home products started off relatively niche, only appealing to the truly ‘geek’ inclined and those with money to spend. Now as more products flood the market they become better priced, further refined, and trusted in our homes.
The following predictions were made in a Forbes article written earlier this year:
“..connected devices will be in roughly 30% of homes by the end of 2018, and in 80% of homes in the US in the next five years — as long as internet of things (IoT) products continue to solve real problems for people.” – Brett Jurgens, Forbes
Pet feeders, security systems, home medical alarms, scheduled recording of TV shows, and setting the coffee pot to come on at 6AM are early examples of widely used products with automation settings.
In today’s world those devices are able to talk to each other, and you can even talk to them thanks to voice recognition software.
So how could this help on the rural property or homestead?
Well after some serious googling during train rides spent glued to my phone, I actually found some pretty cool stuff!
Gardenate – Record and track your seedlings, even set calendar reminders of when to harvest your crops (love!). This app is a fantastic way to manage your vege garden, set your climate area and get growing! Did I mention its FREE?
Running on 4 AA batteries this automated coop door can open at dawn and close again at dusk. If laying (get it) in on the weekends is your kinda thing check out Amazon. There are a whole bunch, some which operate on Solar for extra environmental goodness 🌞 …I’ll be adding this to my wish-list!
Tertill – “Weeding sucks. You should make a robot do it.”
Like a roomba for your garden, this ‘lil solar powered guy just hangs out doing the job you hate. Funded as a kickstarter program and due for release June 2018, Tertill sells for a reasonably priced US$250 + shipping. … I think he needs a pair of bobbly eyes though 👀 CUTE!
Husqvarna Auto Mower – Starting at a paltry NZ$2499 you could never mow the lawns again! But in all fairness give it a few years and manual mowing will be a thing of the past. The electrically powered (no emissions!) Husqvana has a range of models, some which promise to mow sections up to 1.2acres and handle inclines of 45%.
Still feeling spendy…?
How about a FarmBot?
According to the creators, “FarmBot Genesis is humanity’s first open-source CNC farming machine designed for at-home automated food production”. This is seriously cool.
Let ‘ol Farmer Robo take care of your crops from planting until time to harvest, Farmbot also has the ability to run off grid with solar power and rain collection options. Retailing for US$2595 for the original Genesis model, or US$3795 for the bigger Genesis XL, this has to be marketed towards people who don’t enjoy getting their hands dirty.
Times really are changing, and considering how technology continues to develop for the home, backyard, and lifestyle it will be exciting to see what comes next.
I’ll be keeping an eye out, and apart from the usual home and garden developments i’ll add in a tech related post every now and again. We recently bought an Amazon Echo, a voice controlled home assistant which is proving to be super handy and a lot of fun!
I hope you enjoyed reading, what did you think? Did any of those gadgets appeal to you? Would you use any of them or do you prefer being hands-on?
I think the girls interest has been piqued for the robo-door 😆
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