Smart sprinkler controllers are populating the market with efficient, cost-cutting alternatives to old-fashioned sprinklers that go off whatever the weather. This is big news for manufacturers of sprinkler and irrigation controllers and systems. If you haven’t started developing smart watering systems, it may be a good idea to start. Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Smart sprinkler controllers are hot on the market

Smart sprinkler controllers have become a standard in the industry, with dozens of companies manufacturing them. Rachio, a Denver-based company, created a smart sprinkler controller which demonstrates exactly what consumers want: Remote visibility, as well as control over how much water to use, and when. It also highlights the primary reason why consumers have jumped on the smart sprinkler bandwagon: Smart sprinkler controllers and irrigation systems save consumers massive amounts of money.

2. Smart sprinkler controllers and irrigation controllers save money for users

With low water and energy consumption critical factors for consumers, it’s easy to see why smart sprinkler and irrigation controllers are so popular. Saving money is the number two factor (after security) in homeowners’ decision to buy smart products. Smart sprinklers can cut water use by 30% or more. The same factors are fueling the rise of smart irrigation controllers and systems in agriculture and city planning. More and more groups are adopting smart controllers to increase water efficiency and convenience and simultaneously lower expenses. As previously discussed on the Seebo blog, the Ipswich City Council implemented an automated irrigation drive in its sports grounds and saved nearly $2,000 in six months.  For farming regions with few resources like one center in Kisumu, Kenya, “IoT provides the missing link in helping maximize both crop yields and the local farming skills.”

For product manufactures, the rising demand for and success with smart irrigation controllers translates to incredible opportunities for business value.

3. Smart irrigation delivers ROI 

The smart irrigation systems market (including private, government and agricultural use) hit $410 million in 2015 and is continually expanding, according to a report by Credence Research.   Both agricultural irrigation controllers and smart home sprinkler controller systems are continuing to enlarge turnaround for product companies.

The same features which deliver added business value for customers, generates value for the manufacturer. smart systems and controllers connect with user’s smartphones and transmit data to the consumer. But the same data also gives valuable insight to manufacturers into product usage, giving them the key to which features users want. A connected app also opens the door for digital services that add further value to the smart controller. The fact that the product continues to add new value for the mafacturer while in usage is the main difference between traditional and IoT watering techologies.

How to get ROI from smart water technologies: target the right audience

In order to keep the ROI strong, manufacturers and vendors alike should know which users are most likely to purchase a new smart sprinkler or controller system, and when:

  • Homeowners who purchase or renovate their home
  • An industrial or private user whose controller breaks down
  • Someone interested in water consumption for their business or home

What do all three groups have in common? They’re all users who are constantly connected to their smartphones and want more data, faster. Smart watering systems and irrigation controllers cut down on water bills for everyone from homeowners to city planners and keep them informed with real-time data. Features like automated rain delay settings conserve water use by measuring humidity levels to detect rain and automatically delay an existing schedule. Users customize the right water schedule for each type of vegetation through a connected app, which, besides remote water management, also provides data on the vegetation and water levels wherever users are. These features are incredibly attractive to today’s consumers, who if anything are more conservative with spending on new products than were previous generations.

These features and resulting savings in water costs explain the popularity of smart sprinkler controllers, and support the prediction that they will be around for a long time. It’s a good time to get a foothold in the industry, while it’s still expanding.

building smart products - the IoT production line