A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Smart Home? Smart Garden. CloudRain.
CloudRain waters your plants just to their specific needs by using real-time local weather data. Stay in complete control of your garden - no matter where you are. CloudRain saves water, as it only waters when necessary. The CloudRain Valves are controlled wirelessly and are self maintaining through solar energy. Along with a quick and easy setup and a competitive price, CloudRain helps you to easily become a smarter gardener.
Get smarter - no matter where you are.
The CloudRain irrigation system consists of three main components:
1. The CloudRain Controller
This is the central hub that connects your garden to the CloudRain system. Access the CloudRain Controller via our app. The CloudRain Controller wirelessly communicates with the CloudRain Valves and triggers the irrigation whenever and wherever needed. You can place the CloudRain Controller indoors as well as outdoors, as it is designed to resist all weather conditions.
Use our CloudRain Controller along with our radio connected CloudRain Valves. If you prefer to use your already existing 24VAC valves with wire-connections, the CloudRain Controller can handle up to five of your available wired valves and sprinklers.
2. The CloudRain Valve
Connected directly to your water-taps, the CloudRain Valve is easily installed. To communicate with the CloudRain Controller, it uses a special radio connection made for extra low energy and very long range (up to 300m at free sight).
Wires are neither necessary nor needed. The CloudRain Valve just uses solar energy. Therefore you do not need to exchange batteries at any time, even if the valve is not exposed to direct sunlight. The valves only act upon the Controllers request and makes sure water only flows when required.
Each CloudRain Valve is assigned to your specific garden-zones, e.g. “front yard” or “roses”. This helps you to fine-tune your watering plan to the plants needs. You can use as many valves as you like to give every different zone of your garden the attention it deserves.
Each CloudRain Valve is mounted to your garden’s taps and can connect to any standard hose or irrigation pipe fittings. It allows water pressure of up to 10bar.
3. The CloudRain App
No hardware can ever be really smart without it’s app. Set up your garden zones and schedule your tailored watering plan with just a few fingertips.
Make use of CloudRain’s intelligent Adaptive Watering algorithm to dynamically optimize your irrigation plan according to local weather forecasts. Track and monitor your watering schedule at any time and from anywhere - with our CloudRain App.
The App will be available for free in the Apple App Store for iOS and in Google's Play Store for Android.
The science behind CloudRain.
CloudRain uses local weather data to dynamically adjust your watering schedule so that it meets the exact needs of your plants. It uses not only future forecasts but also historical data to make the evaluation as exact as possible. CloudRain evaluates data of not only one but several data-sources to avoid possible deviations.
The CloudRain Adaptive Watering algorithm considers six different parameters to adjust the watering duration: Precipitation Intensity, Precipitation Probability, Temperature, Humidity, Windspeed and Cloud Cover. If you use the CloudRain Adaptive Watering feature, your watering times will be adapted from zero to three times the amount of water, depending on the weather at the point of time of the irrigation. Anchor-point for the adaption is the duration you select during the zone-setup.
In case you feel that your plants need even more of a special treat, you have the possibility to adjust the way the Adaptive Watering works. You can adjust how much influence the algorithm has and you can even select the influence of each parameter. This makes it possible, for example, to cancel out the effect of rainfall in case your plants are covered by a roof. This can be done individually on a per zone setup.
Although we highly recommend using the Adaptive Watering, of course you can also choose to simply stick to a static timer-plan, without the use of CloudRain Adaptive Watering.
Simple, natural, highly engineered.
We like to keep things simple and clean. The CloudRain product’s design is following exactly this principle by the use of natural shapes and white color. Using the team’s insights in industrial design, we carefully engineered this high end product.
The CloudRain products resist all weather conditions and are manufactured for outdoor usage, no need to worry about where to install them.
Over a period of two years, we have designed, 3D printed and tested many prototypes. Continuously fine-tuned, we achieved the beautiful design we have today.
We prepared a sneak preview in order for you to get an impression on where we currently stand with our hardware development and to further explain the different functionalities:
See the CloudRain products in action:
As easy as it can possibly be.
It is as simple as this to become a smarter gardener: Just follow the three installation steps described.
The CloudRain App will quickly guide you through the steps such as connection of your home's wifi to the controller.
You are completely free to design and choose your irrigation zones, as different parts of your garden might have different needs (e.g. front yard with lots of pots and flowers, back yard more lawn style).
Using the team’s insights in industrial design and the years of experience building and launching products, we carefully designed and engineered every piece of the CloudRain products to our own very high standards.
We want our customers to enjoy life with CloudRain as much as we’d like them to trust it with their precious lawns and gardens. We believe that the way to get there, is through great product design and engineering!
With lots of effort during the past years, the hardware and the app are fully developed - by the way, completely in-house. CloudRain just needs the final push to get ready for serial production. We are planning to launch CloudRain into the market around June 2018.
Here is our timeline and budget split for the CloudRain launch:
Who we are.
The initial idea of CloudRain was invented by our founder Henry, who came with a deep understanding of and interest in the Internet of Things.
He also discovered a problem he definitely wanted to solve: Over more than one season, while he was away travelling, all his rooftop garden plants had died in the summer heat.
His computer with an internet connection, a couple of wires and some soldering later: and the first issue of our CloudRain irrigation system was born!
After a period of product development and software engineering, Henry decided to call in his old friend Nils to seriously upgrade CloudRain’s product design with the aim to boost potential sales.
Nils came together with Mathias – since they’re quite hard to separate and work best together – and with that, the CloudRain Team had three members.
This is Henry:
Engineer (RWTH Aachen)
Several years experience in hardware development and mass-production with start ups
Hard– and software engineering from the idea to product development to the final execution are his domains.
This is Nils:
Nils takes care of the user experience in pixels and code, as well as online marketing, to make sure CloudRain is most enjoyed and understood by everyone.
This is Mathias:
Corporate and Graphic Designer
Passion for communication
Mathias is the branding specialist on the team and responsible for CloudRain’s corporate identity.
Your support means a lot to us.
By supporting CloudRain, you are helping us to bring this project to life.
Please also take a look at our website, it has just been launched to provide more details on CloudRain.
Feel free to contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would further like to connect with us even during the campaign.
Risks and challenges
Over the past 30 months we have created the industrial design and worked closely with our suppliers on engineering the functional prototypes. Designs and functionality have been tested with several beta testers in the field.
First versions of the iOS and Android apps are in the making and will be finalized at the time we ship the products. One challenge will be to get connected to other smart home platform tools such as Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT which we will be working on this spring as a next step. Compatibility to Apple's HomeKit is in the planning but still has some uncertainties in regards to the timeline.
Lots of the initial manufacturing risks have been removed by several field tests we ran throughout the product development phase. Every detail has been carefully designed and engineered mainly in-house. We rely on third parties only where it is needed, for example for assembly and mass manufacturing. The internal valve-component is tailored to CloudRain's needs and is manufactured by a well established valve-manufacturer with many years of experience.
Our software platform is designed to push software updates in the field to all components, including our hardware devices. This makes sure you will always have the latest versions and features.
Although many investments have already been made, there are still outstanding hurdles to take and this is why your support is needed. By reaching our Kickstarter goal, we will have sufficient funds to finance tooling and mass-production setup-costs to get ready for final manufacturing.
Our team has deep experience, knowledge and skills with which we have proven our resilience in the past.
Still, our team's experience also showed, that slight delays in the industrialization phase can occur, for example if our desired quality is not secured and needs adjustment. We are confident to meet any challenges that may come along and to solve it to the benefit of our supporters.
We have set up a clearly defined roadmap to make the process as transparent as possible. We hope we can win your trust and make you feel comfortable.
In case of any changes to the plan, we will communicate with you without delay.
Get an early bird special deal. You will be the first ones to receive the product and on top of this get an unbeatable bargain. The package contains Controller + 1x CloudRain Radio Valve + a Micro-Drip start pack for up to 40 plant-pots