Consumer Electronics Offer Glimpse into Ag Tech

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast 462This ZimmCast is going to be another focus on the AgNerd Cloud. It’s just been working that way lately.

I did not attend the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but via Twitter I met John Shutske, Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach Programs in the University of Wisconsin’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences who was attending. John agreed to share some of his observations of the events he attended during last week’s show so that’s what we’re talking about in this week’s program.

CESJohn says he attended a pre-CES event focused on improvements in broadband especially for the rural market. It was there that he had an “ah-ha” moment when they talked about how quickly the new 5G mobile system will be in place which will offer significant speed and ability to transfer much more data for different types of applications. The system is expected to be fully employed by 2020 with the expectation that we’ll see 1000 times the mobile date being transmitted by more than 100 times more connected devices. These won’t just be phones and tablets but sensors, IP cameras and more.

At CES John says technology was organized into different “marketplaces” which aggregated types of technology. An example was one focused on the smart home. But in looking at the technology on display it was easy to image the smart farm. Besides managing energy use and security John saw technology that can tell what has been put into your refrigerator and what has been removed from it! No more hiding that late night snack I guess.

There was a wearable device marketplace that not only included gadgets like Google Glass but also featured applications that can collect and interpret what’s going on around your body. Think of that in terms of applications to animal health and well being.

CES is a big show with an estimated attendance this year of 170,000 people. John learned that there are currently an estimated 1.9 trillion devices connected to the internet. By 2020 that is estimated to be more than 7 trillion.

Drones and other autonomous and mobile devices were also showcased. John talks about some of the advancements being created in these devices. One example he looked at was a UAV device that can use solar power to enhance battery life including landing pads where the device can land and charge by itself. Additionally, another one showcased remote control software to control your UAV via any device connected to the internet.

There were a number of automobile companies displaying vehicles using technology developed in partnership with other types of technology companies and this should continue in the ag sector as well. 3-D printing, including food products was also on display.

Listen in on our conversation to hear more of what John found during his experience in Las Vegas this year and what some of it can mean for agriculture.

You can listen to this week’s program here: AgNerd Cloud - Consumer Electronics and Agriculture

Next year’s show will be January 6-9 in Las Vegas in case you’re wondering.

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