June 7, 2016

Pre-release Update

It has been a year since we crowdfunded for creating India’s first smart plant-care kit. We’re now in the pre-release phase, so it was time to let you know what we’ve been up to in the last few months 🙂

For those interested in technical details:
In our last update, we had mentioned the issues that needed some more work. Here’s a detailed account on how we’ve been faring on those.

For those interested in an Overview:
Read on for a super condensed version of the last few (rather dramatic) months 🙂

SOME ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

1) Finally arrived at an optimal sensor stick design
This was challenging because it was a chicken egg problem – any change in the board affected casing design, change in the casing-design affected sensor readings or water-proofing. After several iterations, we found a sweet spot. Accomplishing all this in prototyping budgets upped the drama!

evolution-timeline_low

 

2) Fully automated the recommendation engine
In the previous (alpha) version, we had only semi-automated our recommendation engine. It is now fully automated.

3) Made the app significantly leaner: Simplified work-flows, reduced clutter

app screen evolution

 

 

SOME SETBACKS

Due to unavoidable resource constraints, we had to switch to alternative app development partners. This transition delayed the process by almost a couple of months that we had not anticipated. But it came with a silver lining – it forced us to rethink our app, keep the really important stuff in and chuck the clutter out.

 

NEXT STEPS

1) Manufacturing of sensor casing through 3D printing is in progress at our office. The amazing FabX printers are churning out finished parts ready to be assembled.
3D final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) The release version of the app is now ready.

We have tested it in simulated environments. We have also started testing it with real users this week, in real-world use-case scenarios. This will continue till the end of next week.

3) We will start machine-assembling the sensor sticks next week onwards. This will take 4-5 days

4) The first draft of instructions manual is ready. We will start testing it with our beta testers in the next 2 days to make sure it isn’t boring and tedious as instructions manuals are notorious to be!
instruction

5) Quality check for the self-watering planters has begun

6) Started preparing the first batches of potting mix

IMG_1016

 

SHIPPING:
We will start shipping in phases, beginning with Bangalore-based backers. This is expected to start happening around 25th June 2016. We will observe performance over their first cycle (15-20 days) of growing before we start shipping to other places.

Thank you, again, and again, for your enormous patience and support!

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