Gardening season is upon us, and that means trying your best to grow healthy plants (if you like to garden, that is). We'd all like to have a little help with gardening. Even those that are experienced gardeners with ever-growing green thumbs could use a boost now and then.
For years, NASA and those within the agriculture field have been using Infrared technology to determine the health status of plants. Now, that technology can be yours for a very low price.
A startup called 'Public Lab' out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has created a small infrared filter that fits on top of existing point-and-shoot cameras. The filter (and project) is called 'Infragram.'
What Infragram Does
When taking a photo with the Infragram filter, gardeners can clearly see the life of a plant. You see, plants have hidden lives that we cannot clearly visualize with the naked eye. The safest, and best, way to do this is to look at a plant (any plant) through an infrared device.
Industrial farmers have expensive infrared technology that allows them to see exactly how a plant is growing, but these devices are often expensive.
Infrared, on the other hand, can be yours for just a $10 pledge. Right now, the project is a Kickstarter project that will require funder backing. So far, the project has already gained all necessary funds to move forward. But, you can still donate that $10 to get your own infrared filter. What if you can't analyze what you see through the infrared filter on your own?
More Tools Coming
The average home gardener might not be able to determine the health of a plant simply by looking through an infrared filter. To do so, those gardeners would need some kind of analysis tool. The Infragram team plans to develop these tools as a form of software in the near future. What you'll get right now (if you pledge) is a filter for your existing camera.
Or, if you pledge $35 of more, you will receive a 'small, cheap, bare bones' camera that serves one direct purpose: to provide gardeners and farmers with plant life details by using infrared technology. If you don't have a camera already, you'll want to pledge that $35 to get the one that this team is offering.
A Great Idea, But...
Infragram is a great concept. Providing average gardeners with access to technology that is usually expensive is an ideal way to spread and encourage gardening. However, the idea needs to be developed further before the average person can use it - something that, clearly, the Infrared team does plan to do.
If you purchase the Infragram filter through the current pledge site, you won't have any analysis help. However, you will be able to see the difference that infrared makes, and you can research the topic online. Like a plant, this project will grow over the next few months, and it's definitely worth backing if you are into gardening - or own a farm, vineyard, or other plot of land!