Product Development, Crowdfunding
SmartTerra™: Smart, App-Enabled Terrarium
SmartTerra is a fully-automated smart terrarium that is controlled with an app, designed to bring nature inside the home with minimal effort to keep plants alive. The beautifully-designed product maintains the ideal environment for your plants, but also includes state of the art features such as sunset and sunrise simulations, rainstorm simulations and sound modes including ocean waves, rain, a tropical rainforest, a thunderstorm, a beach soundscape and more. The accompanying app offers real-time data on the status of your ecosystem, provides information about your plants and their ideal environment and allows you to customize multiple aspects of your terrarium.
SmartTerra partnered with Enventys Partners for full-service product development and crowdfunding marketing because of the team’s expertise in both areas. Services rendered included industrial design, prototyping, engineering, hardware development, IoT development, crowdfunding marketing, and videography and photography services.
The makers of SmartTerra approached Enventys Partners with an existing product that needed an upgraded design and added IoT functionality. By leveraging the learnings from their prototype, the Enventys Partners product development team made changes to improve the product. Using the core concept of the existing product, the team made significant design changes to make it appeal to the crowdfunding demographic, then completed engineering work and hardware development to execute the new vision.
The product development team began by approaching the key design challenge, which was keeping the plants centerstage. The team had to house the mechanical and electrical components within the design in a seamless way for maximum function with minimal impact on the aesthetic of the design. Part of this challenge was hiding the water-fill port so that it did not visually impede the design. Overall, the goal was to keep the design minimal, light and modern. The team used CNC machining to prototype and finalize this design, then moved on to focus on IoT development.
Enventys Partners’ engineers used an ESP32 Bluetooth and WiFi board on a custom-printed circuit board to integrate the smart technology the terrarium needed. Bluetooth Low Energy was implemented to allow the app and the product to communicate and control the settings. The Enventys Partners team used a developer app for prototyping purposes, while the SmartTerra team designed their own app that aligned with their brand.
As SmartTerra product development was nearing completion, the Enventys Partners crowdfunding team began to prepare for the upcoming Kickstarter campaign.
The campaign launched with an initial funding goal of $50,000. The crowdfunding team worked closely with the product development team, communicating about funding progress, product development advances and any new features being added to the terrarium.
Through a combination of backer updates, Facebook ads, a Kickstarter Live and stretch goals, the Kickstarter project hit its funding goal in just 13 days.
After launching the new product on Kickstarter, SmartTerra raised $97,050 from 328 backers, nearly double its $50,000 goal. Additionally, the project was featured in major media outlets including Digital Trends, New Atlas, Gadget Flow, Garden Culture Magazine and InsideHook.