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Each time there is a new high-rise at the expense of greenery, it scares one to think of the future we are heading towards. Will nature vanish completely and be replaced by a jungle of concrete? But with the invention of biopod, which can hold anything from exotic flowers, herbs, aquatic, semi-aquatic and carnivorous plants to amphibians, reptiles and fishes, all hope is not lost.
Taking a step further in the smart tech era, two young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, namely, Samarth Mehta and Sayantan Neogi introduced the biopod in India through their company Vision Aqua. Biopod is a smart mic-rohabitat which is controlled via Internet of Things.
Using the biopod app in a smartphone or tablet, one can set up customised commands or put it on automatic mode. It will control everything from light and temperature to humidity and rainfall inside the biopod.
“Instead of getting up in the morning and playing games on their smartphone, children can use it to do something meaningful like growing plants,” said Mehta, chief operating officer, VisionAqua.
There are five models of the biopod, tailored for different users and interests. The Eden is the smallest one, followed by Terra, Aqua, Aqua II and Grand. The holding capacity of each depends upon the size of the model and the plant.
For example, in Eden, one can grow either a big Dendrobium Orchid or 500 Monte Carlo plants. But in a grand one can grow 20 Dendrobiums. “If we are talking about edible plants, one can choose ample interesting ones like rose, oregano, basil, thyme and mints even in the smallest model like Eden.
In a Grand one can have a joint family feasting out of these herbs. It can afford the weekly salad for them. For growing vegetables, a Grand is recommended,” said Neogi, CTO, VisionAqua.
The biopod has two heating cables that control the air and the ground temperature. Any kind of fluctuations in the natural environment will not affect it. The biopod gives a completely organic yield with no pesticides or artificial fertilisers involved.
The appliance provides a refreshing respite from the nauseating pollution and a touch of homeliness for the outlander. “You can be from Andhra Pradesh where they have a lot of Guntur chillies and stay in Delhi where you can’t get them.
But that will not matter as one can grow them in a biopod. If you are from Meghalaya and you love orchids but can’t see them in Mumbai, you can grow your own orchids with the help of a biopod,” said Neogi.
He showed an oxygenation plant set up in one of the models. One has to leave the biopod open for half an hour in the morning and evening so that the room gets oxygenated automatically.
With its own air purification system, even if the outside air is much polluted the inside of the biopod remains pristine. “It is better than commercial air purifier,” he said.
The biopod, which has a fitted tiny camera, can be operated and viewed from anywhere in the world with a tap on a smartphone. The app sends command to the biopod central cloud server which further signals back to the biopod.
The presence of reservoirs, which holds up to two litres of RO water, at the back of the appliance provides water for the rainfall. By tapping the “rain” option in the app, a sensor gets activated. Sensing the humidity, the water gets delivered to the misting pumps from where it is released. The irrigation on the verdant back wall of the biopod pulls this water oxygenating it constantly, thus keeping it pure.
One of the models displayed a rainforest landscape. Different shades of green played on the mini fern and fig leaves. They swayed as the raindrops fell on them. The wood on the base invited the eyes to explore further beyond into the depths of the greens. For a few magical seconds one is bound to forget the immediate surroundings and the cacophony of a bustling city.