Tag Archives: big data

Ag tech data torrent driving investment in analytics

by Steve Blum • , ,

Persistent feedback loop.

The collision of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the world of big data in the Monterey Bay region’s agricultural sector is revealing new problems. And local companies are getting the first shot at finding solutions. Opportunities created at the bleeding edge of ag tech deployment were highlighted at the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership’s economic summit in Monterey last week.

Mark Bartolomeo, an IoT vice president at Verizon, talked about how wireless connectivity enables real time data collection from the vineyards at Hahn Family Wines – water usage, soil moisture, chemical application, temperature, humidity, wind – but that’s only the beginning of the problem.

“We’re just collecting more and more data, and we’re not exactly sure what we can do with that”, he said. “So the big investments that we see being made today in the industry today are around data analytics”.

The goals, though, are clear. “What really we hope the data will give us is just the ability to fine tune and improve quality”, said Andy Mitchell, Hahn’s director of viticulture. “The wine industry is very competitive”.

Driscoll’s, a Watsonville-based berry producer, is focused on customer satisfaction. That means tracking strawberries from the farmworkers who pick and pack them, all the way to the people who eat them. Via unique bar codes on every package, the company is getting about half a million item-specific responses a year from consumers.

“We want to link the entire supply chain, and be able to trace all the way back to the farmworker”, said Soren Bjorn, executive vice president for Driscoll. “When we get rewarded for selling our berries in the marketplace, we reward our growers for producing those berries, and what we want to do is make sure we can share some of that with the one person who touched those berries, harvested the berries, so that the farmworker who does a better job of selecting the really good berry and nicely puts it into the clamshell just the way you want it, they share rewards as well”.

The end of TV and the rise of the microwave oven will define consumer electronics of the future

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Twilight of the gods.

“The TV has been challenged for the the last four or five years and, frankly, it’s on the way out unless they reinvent its presentation in the home”, said Peter Corcoran, assistant dean at the National University of Ireland. He spoke yesterday at a CES session sponsored by IEEE and focused on future technology.

“The TV needs to reinvent itself”, Corcoran said. The way to do that is to marry it to smart phones and tablets and make it a two screen experience.

Mobile devices will increasingly dominate the consumer electronics industry. “We’ve seen single function devices being swallowed up by multifunction devices”, said Tom Wilson, a partner at XworX, pointing out that no one has a stand alone MP3 player anymore. Devices originally intended to do one thing will, he speculated, be hacked into doing many unanticipated things: a camera on a car dashboard could watch the driver, monitor his heart rate, detect stress or fatigue, and structure the audio system’s playlist accordingly.

Idle equipment is an opportunity, Scott Linfoot, a consultant with ICCE, pointed out. He said processors in, say, household appliances such as microwave ovens, can be networked together to “use the downtime to crunch data…merge between personal big data and the personal cloud”. The growth of sensor-based home health care, for example, will produce a flood of data that can be sifted and winnowed close to the source, so the relevant bits can be sent off for detailed analysis.

“Anything that crashes Excel is a big data problem”, he said.