Editorial Briefing Paper

Editorial Briefing Paper

Smart Watering Controller from Blossom Poised to Transform the Way We Water Our Yards

Smart Watering Controller Saves Time, Money, Water

The numbers don’t lie: close to 60 percent of water used residentially is used for irrigation purposes – and of that amount, almost half is wasted – meaning it doesn’t go where it needs to go in the appropriate amount. In the age of the Internet of Things – and with the growing trend towards ‘smart’ homes – the time is now to address this problem. Home automation brings numerous benefits – and smartphones and tablets are market drivers. According to Parks Associates: 52 percent of mobile consumers over 18 in North America now have smart phones and over 24 million people own tablets – and 77 percent of consumers surveyed would like the ability to remotely control and monitor their home while away.

What is Blossom?

Blossom extends the benefits of an automated home – convenience and the ability to easily make adjustments remotely – outside to the yard. Blossom is a smart watering controller with automated Weather Analytics that allows users to monitor and control their yard’s watering schedule from anywhere and at any time with a smart phone, tablet or computer. Blossom was founded by people from some of the world’s most powerful brands, including Skype, Vizio, Microsoft, Linksys and Cisco. Technical ability combined with the experience gleaned from years of working in the consumer electronics, water resources, networking, manufacturing and hardware fields give the team at Blossom nearly perfect credentials to bring to bring the power of smart watering to the masses.

The Birth of a Startup

Having been colleagues at Skype and Cisco-Linksys, Blossom’s founders made a pact that they would all work together in the future – on the ‘next big thing’ of their own creation. Like many entrepreneurs, the trio that would become the Blossom team wanted to change the world for the better. As exciting and hope-filled as startups are, the team also knew that in the tech world, they were a dime a dozen. They knew that their offering must be different and impactful. In May of 2013, with initial funding from its founders, Blossom was born. Going back to late 2012, the Blossom team spent months doing market research. While weather-based irrigation controllers have been around commercially for large-scale deployments for quite some time, no one had yet put this concept into a package for the residential space.

Smart Watering for All

After much debate over which type of connectivity to use, the team decided that this was one area in which they could differentiate the product. A large portion of residential irrigation controllers are placed outside the home (usually attached to a wall), where Wi-Fi is limited. Others are installed in the garage in areas that also have wireless connectivity limitations (behind a water heater tank, for example). Blossom addresses these connectivity challenges by using Powerline, which makes the installation process simple and provides a highly reliable connection. Using Powerline technology, Blossom turns electrical outlets into Internet connections – making its range essentially limitless. It goes where others can’t. Blossom is the only sprinkler controller that is built to be deployed indoors or outdoors – it has been engineered to withstand the elements. For users that may prefer a Wi-Fi solution, Blossom also provides this as an alternative. The first Blossom prototype was built in the summer of 2013 and, after an initial funding round by the founders, Vizio Inc. and Accton came onboard. Everything from legal to logistics to manufacturing was now in place – and it was time to introduce the world to Blossom, via a Kickstarter campaign. Blossom is what happened when the founders’ expertise combined in a perfect storm with the growing popularity of the Internet of Things and the concept of a connected smart home. When coupled with a growing desire in the consumer base to do the right thing by the environment, Blossom’s time is now