Future in Smart Sensors & Cheap Connectivity

Cindy Zimmerman

aif-15-rogersA combination of more, cheaper smart sensors and more connectivity could make the future of agriculture and food production pretty bright in this country. During the recent Bayer CropScience 10th annual Ag Issues Forum in Phoenix, Michael Rogers, who is an author, journalist and futurist, spoke to those gathered at the event about some of these global trends driving food innovation. He told Chuck that he’s a big believer in the potential of combining a technology, such as Google Glass, with smart sensors that would be cheap and able to be scattered about a farm field.

“I’m a great believer in wearables,” he said. “[Those sensors] could be giving you literally a foot-by-foot presentation on exactly the soil conditions, which could be visualized through smart glasses, overlayed with the data.”

Going hand-in-hand with this wearable data gathering device is the idea of better connectivity in rural areas. Michael said by the year 2020, we’ll be amazed by how low cost and how widely available high-speed connectivity will be, thanks, in part, to the Federal Communications Commission’s ruling on net neutrality. He compared it to the projects in the 1930s that finally brought electricity to rural America.

“The federal government has decided broadband needs to be everywhere,” he said, adding that when you combine that with regulatory powers wanted by the FCC, we’ll see more competitors and, in turn, lower prices for quality, high-speed internet throughout farm country.

In the food sector, Michael said there are a lot of efficiencies that can be wrung out of the food distribution system that will give all those in the supply chain better information to reduce problems, such as spoilage. And he said that don’t be surprised when those parts of the world that might not be as technologically advanced now end up leap-frogging some of the more developed world in what he calls the “Biblical law of technology” where the last shall become first.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Michael here: Michael Rogers, author, journalist and futurist

2015 Ag Issues Forum Photo Album

Audio, Bayer CropScience, Internet