updated 08:00 pm EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
Wi-Fi sprinkler controller helps cut back water use, adjusts to regional conditions
Rachio has created a home automation device that makes watering the lawn much easier and more efficient than with traditional irrigation timers. The company has released the Iro smart sprinkler controller, which is meant to act as the brain of an irrigation system. The Iro uses smart features to adjust for different conditions, instead of just setting up a timer and forgetting about it until the end of a watering season. The controller connects to a smart phone over Wi-Fi, making it easy to use without having to step outside.
Rather than having to set timers or adjust for situations on-the-fly with a manual irrigation controller, the Iro can learn and automatically correct itself. These adjustments are based not only on seasonal conditions, but also takes into consideration characteristics of the region. This includes things like restrictions on watering or adjustments based on soil types. Iro will also adjust based on weather, wind and humidity.
Replacing another controller with the Iro doesn't appear to be much of a hassle, either. The company says it is only a matter of replacing the zone wires in the existing system. After it's installed, the unit then needs to be synced up to a device for initial setup through an Android or iOS app.
"Iro is the ultimate marriage of conservationism and convenience," said Rachio CEO Chris Klein. "Our smart sprinkler controller takes the hard work out of maintaining your yard so you can get back to enjoying it with the peace of mind you're limiting water waste."
Iro gives users new levels of control, giving more familiar irrigation controller companies such as Rainbird some competition. The Rachio Iro smart sprinkler controller is now available in 990 Home Depot locations in the United States. Pricing for the eight-zone unit is $250.