05
Jun
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Kids these days with their fancy smart homes, their smartphone-controlled lights, Bluetooth-connected door locks, and their mind-reading kettles. Back in the day, people manually flipped switches, turned keys, and pressed buttons. Appliances didn't control themselves, and that was a-okay. But sprinklers, yes, those should be automated, and using your smartphone to monitor them just makes plain sense! Tell me more about Rachio's newfangled Iro smart sprinkler controller.

Okay, not all homeowners are grumpy old men (get off my lawn!), so I'll drop the impression and just tell you what Rachio's smart sprinkler controller can do. Iro takes the place of your existing sprinkler controller, where it picks up the ability to control the flow of water to your yard, opening and closing valves as necessary. It promises to use use less water than your old unit, as it is smart enough to follow the seasons and adapt. It should conserve water by knowing when it's time to spray and when to give it a rest

Iro

After Iro's installed, you can connect it to your Android device in order to monitor your home sprinkler system's behavior and issue commands. The latter should become less necessary as the device learns more about you and your lawn. The app's already up in the Play Store, and screenshots reveal the ability to monitor multiple zones of your landscape, see how much time is remaining on each cycle, and stop everything on command. It offers a flat, clean UI that doesn't appear to offer much in the way of distractions.

Rachio1 Rachio2 Rachio3

If it isn't obvious, Iro isn't for everyone. First you need to own a home, and then you need to have a sprinkler system already in place. After that, you're looking at dropping $249.99 for the unit. If you're interested in picking one up, Rachio's willing to sell you one from their site, but they're also offering them at Home Depot for the same price.

Rachio

Rachio Launches Iro Smart Sprinkler Controller at Home Depot Locations Nationwide

EPA Estimates nearly 3.9 Billion gallons of water are wasted per day by inefficient landscape irrigation systems

DENVER – June 04, 2014 – Rachio is excited to announce the launch of Iro Smart Sprinkler Controller at 990 Home Depot locations across the country. The Wi-Fi connected Iro acts as the brain of a landscape irrigation system, automatically adjusting to weather conditions and seasonality to use as little water as possible, while maintaining beautiful lawn.

The iOS and Android app powered Iro creates a watering schedule based on location, taking into account regional characteristics and restrictions. This includes adjusting watering patterns to best meet the needs of various soil types and adapting to unpredictable weather.

Iro’s ability to learn and automatically adjust to its environment helps address the country’s growing outdoor water waste issue. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 50% of the 7.8 billion gallons of water used daily for landscape irrigation is wasted. With Iro users can reduce their impact and track usage over time.

“Iro is the ultimate marriage of conservationism and convenience,” said Chris Klein CEO and Co-founder of Rachio. “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 installs quickly and easily. Users begin by unplugging their old controller, detaching the low voltage zone wires and removing it from the wall. They then mount the smart controller to the wall and reconnect the low voltage zone wires and plug it in. Finally users are prompted to sync Iro through the Rachio smartphone app.

Once attached users can hold their Smartphone up to a sensor on the Iro and it will connect to their home wireless network. The app will then lead the user through a simple zone setup process that will create a localized watering schedule. The free Rachio app is available for download at Apple’s App Store and from Google Play.

The Iro Smart Sprinkler Controller is available immediately at www.rach.io and Home Depot stores for $249.

For more information on about Rachio please follow the company on Facebook and @_rachio.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Cory S

    I have a RainMachine which is the same basic idea. It monitors the weather and adjusts accordingly. The app is horrible, even though it has improved greatly over the last few months. The unit itself is basically a cheap android tablet with a a controller UI.

    All in all ithe app sucking doesnt bother me mu chb because the whole point is a system you don't have to mess with, and it does that well. I do wish I could look up statistics on how much water I've used though.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

    Does this require a $250 purchase *per nozzle*?

    • bobEveryman

      Just looked at the website, 8-zone unit is $249, 16-zone unit is $299

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

        Thanks! That's not too bad at all.

  • JG

    When the video started with the couple out in the yard playing with the dog, I was wondering - would it be possible for the device to know when you are in your yard to avoid turning the sprinklers on? Maybe using your phone's GPS or bluetooth or whatever - like the smart deadbolt locks check to make sure your phone isn't sitting inside the house before unlocking.

    • Travis Jennings

      You can do this if it gets tasker integration and you use a ipcam or motion sensor.
      Would be good for scaring cats away.

  • JT

    IrrigationCaddy is similar and has been around for awhile. Is normally $200+ for the new wifi version and is currently on sale for $156 at HD.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/IrrigationCaddy-IC-W1-Wi-Fi-Irrigation-Controller-W1/205000572?MERCH=RV-_-RV_nav_plp_rr-1-_-NA-_-205000572-_-N

  • SR

    For those who prefer an open, customisable option, there is open sprinkler.

    http://rayshobby.net/?page_id=5816

  • jj14x

    I started to pull out my credit card to buy this, but realized that this has no manual controls. None - whatsoever. I don't know how good Rachio is - what if they go out of business tomorrow? What if my internet connection drops overnight? What if I don't have phone/computer with me (unlikely, but phones could break) and I need to change the schedule.... dang it! (my wallet thanked me)

    I then looked at irrigationcaddy that JT suggested - looks good - has manual controls too. But they have no plans to make it work like rachio at this time. I'll wait for the price to drop down on this one and get it. (Home depot apparently had the IC-W1 for 156 just a couple of weeks ago - a friend bought it then)

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