May 26, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today


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The Connected Yard: Transforming Lawn/Garden Care with Tech

The age of convenience is upon us, and we’re laying out the welcome mat.

Smart home technology is reaching into every corner of the house, from the kitchen to the laundry room, giving back the most precious commodities: time and effort. There are refrigerators that tell us when to buy milk, thermostats that optimize our comfort and electric bills, and speakers that tell us the weather, who’s winning the game and what our stock prices are doing, all on command – saving time and money by streamlining the performance of day-to-day activities.

The Connected Yard

And now smart home connectivity is trickling into the yard, too. Beyond the doorstep, connected technology is automatically illuminating your yard at dusk with smart lighting and protecting your home from intruders with smart security systems. It has even seeped into the soil, fine-tuning your yard’s watering needs with soil and rain sensors that report back to the cloud.


Managing your home’s water usage is one of the most impactful ways you can put technology to work for you, since the biggest waste of water actually occurs outside of the home. Outdoor watering accounts for up to 60% of your water bill, much more than your toilets, showers or household appliances.

To manage outdoor water use, a smart sprinkler system like Rachio saves time, effort and water by eliminating the watering schedule set up guessing-game, keeping an eye on the weather to anticipate rain skips and reducing your watering bill by optimizing schedules to your specific yard. When connected to rain and soil sensors or flow meters, these yard technologies grant you total watering control.

Many irrigation systems take a one-size-fits-all approach as obsolete as a VHS player. A modern watering system should account and adjust for the particular needs of each individual yard – soil types, nozzles used, local weather predictions. Figuring out which combination of cranked knobs or mashed buttons will get your yard where it needs to be is a clunky and time-consuming approach. Nest knows when you do or don’t need additional cooling in the house – why can’t a sprinkler system know when you do or don’t need to water the lawn?

Well, now it can. And in the connected yard, it should. A Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller brings the outdoors into the smart home fold, using technology to make watering more effective and efficient. Transform the way you care for your yard by letting a smart watering controller automatically set up and manage watering schedules and intuitively program rain skips so you don’t have to.


And you can do it all from your phone or laptop. Stop or start watering, initiate a manual rain skip, check in on your watering schedule real-time – perhaps in the car while you wait to pick up the kids? Or maybe as you’re watching a movie in the living room. Maybe you want to check in from the beach while you’re on vacation. Wherever you are, mobile app access gives you the freedom to control your sprinklers anytime. You are no longer at the mercy of an outdated box tucked in a dark basement, crowded garage or exposed side yard.

If you’d like a more hands-off approach, step back and trust the connected yard to handle things without constant oversight.

Rachio Weather Intelligence communicates with thousands of local weather stations to make proactive rather than reactive schedule changes based on fluctuating weather. A smart sprinkler system knows what the clouds are doing and will alter the schedule accordingly to prevent overwatering – no more dashing to the garage or basement to stop watering in the rain.

Connect the intelligence of a smart sprinkler controller to the physical accuracy of rain and soil sensors or flow meters, and these yard innovations work together to provide powerfully reliable watering efficiency without sacrificing a beautiful lawn.

Smart, Inside and Out

Once you have set up a connected yard, integration with other smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Nest and SmartThings allows you to unite all of your time-saving home automations in one place for a truly seamless smart home experience.

Whether you are telling Alexa to “Run Zone 6 for 10 minutes” from the comfort of your couch or monitoring your water use over time in the Nest Home Report, connected home technology is empowering you to reclaim a piece of your day and take control of routine tasks – and these already impressive innovations are only the beginning. With new advancements in technology happening every day and the ability to access the latest updates through the cloud, smart homes will be learning and growing right alongside you as the days move forward.

The conveniences of a smart home will help you get through the day, but a smart yard is where you go to enjoy your free time. Make your house work for you – inside and out – with connected smart home technologies.

Picture of By I&T Today

By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Send it to

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