Plants that ask for water, sunlight

- June 3, 2023
| By : Mohd Shehwaaz Khan |

Giftreeng, a technology enabled pot, promises to make plant care easy by notifying owners about the need for water and sunlight

DISCOURAGED: Aman Jaiswal says that people often abandon their plants since they can’t keep up with schedule of watering and sunlight

Aman Jaiswal, a 28-year-old engineering dropout, has come up with Giftreeng, a technology enabled pot that simplifies plant care. Giftreeng allows one to know when the plants need water and sunlight.

In an exclusive interview with Patriot, Jaiswal reveals the inspiration behind Giftreeng, which integrates technology with gardening, and his vision for a future where plant care is convenient.

Q: How did the idea of integrating technology with plants come about?
A: Initially, our idea centred around starting a plant gifting company. We noticed that while many people desired to have plants, they struggled with the responsibilities of plant care. As a result, they often left their plants due to a lack of knowledge regarding watering schedules and sunlight requirements. Recognising this as an issue, we decided to incorporate technology into our approach. Thus, we evolved from merely selling plants to creating a connection between plants and technology.

Q: Can you provide more details about the technology behind this concept?
A: Our plants (pots) have the ability to communicate their needs for water and sunlight through innovative technology. Similar to how a pet signals its hunger or thirst, our plants (the pots) can request for water and sunlight when necessary.

Q: How did the idea of integrating technology with plant parenting come about?
A: My personal interest in machinery and its applications, my engineering background and my passion for gardening sparked the idea of Giftreeng. The combination of technology and gardening prompted me to start sort of an online nursery startup, where we delivered plants directly at people’s doorsteps. During this venture, many people shared the difficulties they face while caring for plants. They expressed frustration over their plants withering and eventually dying out. This issue resonated with me. With the help of one of my colleagues, after over six months of research modelling, we developed a pot that indicates when it requires water and sunlight. Thus, the story of Giftreeng began.

Q: What is your vision for your startup?

A: Our vision revolves around extending the lifespan of plants and alleviating the fear associated with plant care. This fear often discourages people from purchasing plants despite their passion for gardening. By ensuring that plants do not perish due to insufficient water, more people will be inclined to keep plants in their homes and offices. When we started Giftreeng, our primary objective was precisely this—to make the act of gifting a plant a customary practice during weddings and parties, replacing traditional gifts.

This would simplify the process of cultural shift. Even if individuals are not heavily invested in plant care, it would no longer pose a significant challenge since the plants themselves would request water and sunlight. Therefore, we aspire to promote the culture of plant parenting in India, encouraging every individual to keep at least one plant in their surroundings.

Times are changing, it may not always be feasible to plant trees outdoors, but having one plant on an office desk or at home is certainly achievable.

A STEP AHEAD: Jaiswal plans to introduce G-one which is a rod connected with mobile app and can notify plant owners about water and sunlight requirements

Q: In densely populated cities like Delhi, where pollution, heatwaves, and other environmental issues persist, people often seek fresh air. How can Giftreeng contribute to this?
A: Presently, we have introduced Gia, an intelligent assistant pot. Additionally, we plan to launch a device called G-one, which resembles a small rod. Once inserted into the pot, G-one will send notifications to a mobile app, alerting users when their plants require water, sunlight, and nutrients. Our intention is to further expand the capabilities of Gia, enabling it to detect additional factors such as nutrition levels. In future, it will also provide guidance on plant parenting. Similar to other smart home devices like Alexa or Google Home, we envision creating a two-way communication channel.

Q: You claim that this technology will revolutionise gardening. How will it achieve that?
A: Given the fast-paced nature of our lives, we often find limited time for hobbies. I firmly believe that by integrating technology and artificial intelligence (AI) with plant parenting, we can make the process significantly easy. When activities become easier, people are more likely to adopt them. Currently, individuals may be hesitant to invest in gardening or maintaining a few plants on their desks. However, once it becomes simpler, the adoption rate will certainly increase.