Backyard Automation Finally Becomes Part Of The Smart Home Movement

07/09/2014 04:00 pm ET | Updated Jul 14, 2014

As thrilling as it may be to tear yourself away from the air conditioning to water plants on a sweltering summer day, there's a new gadget in town that will keep you cool and your water bills low.

Droplet, a smart robot that connects to your hose and uses precision delivery to water your plants, is the Nest of the backyard. Designed by ex-Microsoft programmer Steve Frenholz, the device costs about $300. According to Frenholz, if you have less than a 3,000-square-foot backyard that needs tending, the device pays for itself.

"It's a lot more expensive than a sprinkler that just goes back and forth spraying everywhere. But if you compare it to underground irrigation system, it's a lot less expensive," he told Fast Co. Exist.

According to the brand's website, Droplet can lower your sprinkler water consumption by up to 90 percent and will save an average of $263 a year. You can easily control the device through a smartphone or tablet app that will keep track of information including Droplet's water usage analytics, backyard temperatures, and local soil types.

So while it may not be as glamorous as the coffee maker that starts itself when you get out of bed, at least it's a smarter, cost-efficient way to tackle those outdoor chores.

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