Israeli Gadget Blooms Your Hydroponic Garden
Put the Flux device in the water reservoir to monitor the delicate water chemistry and give you automated alerts about what needs adjusting.
Whether you’re growing berries in Brooklyn or kale in Karachi, a small device coming soon from an Israeli entrepreneur will help you grow it better on water, hydroponically.
“Our solution based on sensors and community lets individuals and smallholder farms access cutting-edge hydroponics technologies, until now available only to big industry,” says Karin Kloosterman, Jaffa-based CEO of Flux.
“By monitoring, automating and adjusting optimal conditions for your plants indoors or out, Flux makes the most of your investment, and elevates your plants’ potential. The tool, based on precision agriculture, can increase yields by 30 percent.”
Once Flux is mass-manufactured by the end of this year, consumers will be able to buy the patent-pending device through greenhouse builders to optimize their hydroponic crops – everything from cherry tomatoes and rare Japanese melons to medical cannabis.
“You just have to plunk it in the water reservoir and it starts monitoring your water chemistry and gives you automated alerts about what to adjust,” Kloosterman, a former writer for ISRAEL21c explains. The system is monitored and controlled from any smartphone or tablet.
“Instead of relying on charts, our device will give you specifics about nutrients and light and other parameters for optimum growth. You can even increase the vitamin content by 200% if you know how to do it. The second generation of the product will actually control these parameters for you.”
Until now, hydroponic farmers had to rely on pH test strips to monitor the balance of nutrients in the reservoir. Kloosterman says Flux is the first advanced product for providing more accurate, real-time data while connecting users.
Flux users will be able to share ideas and photos with one another when and if they choose to, but they’ll constantly be sharing sensor data passively, through the device. “Most of the sharing happens automatically, like with Waze,” she tells ISRAEL21c.
Incubating in the Big Apple
Flux is one of five Israeli companies currently in the midst of ICONYC’s first six-month accelerator program nurturing “smart” consumer and business products.
Kloosterman says the prototype is ready for manufacturing and she’s on the verge of closing the company’s first large investment to make that happen. Flux is registered in the United States but will maintain an R&D center in Israel. The device was developed by software and hardware engineers with experience in transferring Israeli plant science, medical and military know-how into consumer and industrial devices.
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