The Consumer Electronics Show you could say is one of the least "green" conventions ever, with everyone running a variety of different gadgets, using enough energy and electricity that would make the Environmental Protection Agency implode with all carbon emissions being sent into the atmosphere. Panasonic is no stranger to the CES, having already shown off a TV using a MySpace app with Justin Timberlake making an appearance.
However, the Japanese-based company has sort of combatted this, and has launched something it calls the "Smart Vegetable Garden." You can grow vegetables in your home in a 100x50x30 cm box. According to Panasonic, you can harvest the vegetables in 40 days, or 30% less than normal.
The Panasonic device (which runs an exorbitant $7,800), uses cloud-based technology to track the growth of the vegetables, and screens for water and nutrient levels. Not only can you use this inside, you can use it outside as well.
As the recession hit, more people began to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Not everyone has space or enough land to really make it worth while. You can grow a few tomatoes or pieces or corn, but the ability to grow vegetables 30% faster than normal using just an outlet is truly remarkable.
Pansaonic's cloud-based device could be the start of a major shift to farming and agriculture as we know it. This could revolutionize urban farming, especially in city buildings and poorer areas, where people have little to no free space.
Of course $7,800 is a lot of money to grow some tomatoes, carrots and other vegetables, so Panasonic has decided it will lease the box to users for $180 per month. For now, the device is only available in the Japanese market, but I suspect if the monthly lease price comes down and this takes off in Japan, it could be brought to other markets, including the lucrative U.S. market.
Thanks to TechCrunch for the update.