Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in America, with approximately 31 million households spending $2.5 billion on gardening inputs. Nearly $13 million of this spending is for traditional watering cans. The idea of combining style, ergonomics, and technology in the design of a modern, wearable watering device for the hobby gardener has not been previously explored and presents an opportunity for innovation.
The team created a novel plant watering device for gardeners. It incorporates both an external waterproof sling-bag which houses a patent-pending, flexible, internal bladder for holding water and a battery powered, trigger operated wand and nozzle for dispensing water.
Known as the Lotus, the device:
- Helps users water plants in hard to reach locations
- Prevents spills
- Distributes weight across the body and improves ease of carry
- Adds style to the gardening hobby.
The team submitted the Lotus business case to a potential investor for review. In addition, they are modifying the prototype to improve overall ease of use.
- The team presented three unique “white space” ideas to MPD2 faculty.
- One idea was chosen based on faculty input, group preference, technological feasibility, economic promise, and potential for completion within the final six months of the program.
- The team constructed a rudimentary prototype and used this as a visual to conduct ethnographic research, interviews, surveys, and demonstrations at garden supply stores. This was done to determine customer buying and design preferences and identify any unknown needs.
- The team sourced materials to mass produce the device and created a supply chain. They developed three styles of watering devices: a fanny pack, a sling-bag, and a backpack. The team considered the sling-bag to be most viable product.
- The team projected financials such as cost analysis and break-even analysis ensuring a robust purchase price that would allow the team and retailers to realize profits. These projections also determined the financial investment needed to bring the Lotus to market.
- The team presented Lotus to potential investors and has generated investor interest in further development.