The internet of things (IoT) has been popping up in a lot of business articles I have been reading. The reason is, it will be more disruptive to our lives than the internet was. The change to our existing operations; health, home, and infrastructure will be revolutionary.
Wikipedia describes the “Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit; when IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.”
So how will this affect agriculture? Past posts have introduced moisture monitors on fruit which turn on irrigation when the moisture content in oranges dips below set levels. For livestock producers there is the MooCall sensor, which attaches to a pregnant cow’s tail and sends a text to your phone when it senses the cow’s tail moving into its horizontal calving position. The reduction in available human labour within agriculture is driving machinery manufacturers to build more functionality into their machines. The John Deere Operation Centre is an example of this technology already being used in the market.
The ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra this year had a speaker from Google talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the future of Google cars and tractors which will not require drivers. Computer operated vehicles will have a better safety record than human operated machinery.
There is a consensus across countries, industries and experts, that we don’t even realise the extent of the impact the Internet of Things will have on us. As Daniel Burrus said “Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest one is the Internet of Things; it’s the one that’s going to give us the most disruption as well as the most opportunity over the next five years.”
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and innovation expert. To read more on his insights on the Internet of Things visit: http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-internet-of-things-bigger/