Internet of Things in Energy and Agriculture

At ID, we’re interested in the growing “Internet of Things” (IoT) trend, especially in the energy and agriculture sectors. In energy, IoT allows for remote monitoring and management of pay-as-you-go and other smart grid systems. In agriculture, it can give farmers fast insight on their crops and livestock without having to physically inspect them. This week, we’re highlighting examples in the news of both applications and a glimpse at the technology development.

‘Internet of things’ turns up the heat on utilities by David Ferris on Midwest Energy News
Nest, now owned by Google, is the leading example of IoT and energy management coming together to increase efficiency. More than just turning off your thermostat when you’re not home, IoT has big potential to capture hyper-local and specific usage data. This is putting pressure on US utility companies who will have to move quickly to provide their customers with seamless, itemized bills that “look more like your phone or bank bill that has line items.” IoT can disrupt the energy in the US, and has potential to do the same in emerging markets. We are excited by this synergistic relationship between energy and ICT, and can envision the application in emerging markets where populations are remote and energy is scarce, making efficient management and data collection critical features rather than luxuries.

Wireless Smart Energy Markets to Reach $20 Billion by 2018, Says ON World on PRWeb
According to global technology research firm ON World, the worldwide “Smart Energy” market will grow to over $20 billion in the next five years. The emergence of IoT technology is disruptive to the energy sector, with some of the largest and faster growing markets around the globe. The vast penetration of mobile devices, cheap wireless sensors, and cloud services has allowed for explosive growth in this area. The leading wireless sensor network technologies like ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, EnOcean, and Z-Wave are expected to power 50 million smart homes and buildings by 2018.

Vital Herd Selects ThingWorx M2M Technology Platform for Livestock Management on ThingWorx
Vital Herd, a startup with a health-monitoring bolus for livestock farmers, announced that it will use ThingWorx to power its M2M animal monitoring technology. According to the USDA, about four million animals die in the United States in dairy and beef production, and many more get sick. Vital Herd actively monitors the health of the animal and provides alerts when there are issues. ThingWorx is the platform behind VitalHerd that allows it to rapidly develop applications and alerts to bring problems to farmer’s attention sooner.

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a cow by Brian Fung on The Washington Post
Dairy producers worldwide regularly suffer losses as a result of their livestock becoming sick or dying. IoT and M2M technologies can help mitigate this by providing farmers with valuable data and analytics to better manage their herds. Scotland-based Silent Herdsman uses remote sensors embedded in the cows’ collars to deliver recommendations to farmers on when each cow should be inseminated, and claims to raise milk yields by 12% over the course of a year. We are always looking for new ways to increase the efficiency of global food production, and it’s clear that IoT will play a large role in this regard.

FCC Approves First Machine-To-Machine Cell Signal Booster on Field Technologies Online
SureCall, a leader in cellular booster technology, just announced that its M2M booster has received approval from the FCC. This marks the first time that the commission has approved a booster that used machine to machine technology. The M2M boosters have been gaining ground in many industries, notably renewable energy. The compact and strong design allow for easy integration and operation in even the most demanding of environments, ranging from below freezing to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a critical development for monitoring technologies for renewable energy systems that are often in harsh environments (i.e. wind farms on Lake Turkana or solar home systems along the Equator).

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