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Smart sprinkler controller gets boost from Castle Pines resident

The Mendell family has lived in Castle Pines for six years. Jordan (right) is holding his daughter Peytonn, and his wife Courtney is holding daughter Cameron.

By Steve Baska, photos courtesy of Jordan Mendell

Thirty-five year old Castle Pines Village resident Jordan Mendell is excited about a new device that he has helped bring to the market via the smart phone.

Mendell is a seed investor who helped fund the Iro device, the first-ever sprinkler controller that connects to the Internet and uses your home address to get the most localized weather forecasts and other data. The device sets a yard watering schedule, using as little water as possible to keep a healthy lawn.

The device, controlled from your smart phone, will be in retail box stores this spring.

“Even in Castle Pines, I see houses with sprinklers running in the rain and water running down the streets, and I know we can help stop that,” Mendell said. He estimates the Iro can save up to 7,000 gallons of water a month per house on average during July and August. “More than half of all water used by homeowners is on irrigation, and half of that irrigation is usually wasted,” Mendell said.

Currently Mendell serves as head of mobile special projects and as investor to DraftKings, a venture-backed daily fantasy sports company, but he invests in other projects also.

The Iro is totally designed and manufactured in Denver by the Rachio company. The device is easy to install. You just plug it in, then get a smart phone application (app) and install it on your smart cell phone. The app registers your address, which is transmitted to the controller, which then connects a specialized forecasting system that can distinguish between rain in north and south parts of the city. You can also then set yard zone controls via your phone, adjusting for less water in a shady area of your yard.

Mendell believes the Iro is much more effective than humidity control devices used today on sprinkler systems to regulate water usage by humidity readings. The Iro also “learns as you teach it about unique characteristics in your yard and continues to tweak your schedule as it gets smarter,” he said. The Iro comes in a small size (four to eight yard zones) for $189 or a large size (for 16 zones) for $250 to $300.

For additional information about the Iro device, visit www.rach.io.

The Iro controller mounted on a wall. The device is a new type of sprinkler controller that connects to the Internet and uses your home address to get the most localized weather forecasts and other data to set an efficient yard watering schedule. The device is controlled from your smart phone.

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