At 2:27 in this teaser/promo video for Maker Faire Detroit, there's a brief clip of an aloe plant with some IoT type stuff. Presumably this is from either Maker Faire Detroit 2018, or a previous year.

What's the project, and what's its purpose?


Connected Aloe


As hinted at in the comments, this is a soil moisture sensor. The demo in a houseplant may be rather trivial, but moisture sensing is one of the more valuable aspects of smart agriculture.

Typically you would want to measure soil moisture at multiple depths (depending on the specific crop), and multiple locations (assuming that there is varying solar exposure across a field). This allows you to decide where to use the constrained volume of water available, and make some value trade-offs based on the data (and forecasts).

Agricultural IoT does not get as much press as the smart-home applications or more exciting industrial applications, but it is a significant market.

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