“Smart” automation is the up and coming trend of the century. It is powered by the Internet of Things that connects devices together wirelessly for a seamless and synchronized working experience. This puts big tech corporations knee-deep in business as they design and develop smart chips and fundamental communication mechanisms that connect all these devices together. It only makes sense that a massive chip manufacturer like Intel finds itself well centered in this dynamic.
As the IoT smart automation expands its applications, Intel is now finding itself turning towards the booming and thus-far untapped multibillion-dollar agricultural industry, working to introduce its smart chips in a way that helps to automate, regulate, and better how the food we eat is grown!
Generation Z has woken up to and lives in a “smart” time, a time where what was once a regular time-telling watch is now a smart watch, a time where what only had the capacity to make calls or send text messages back and forth is now a smartphone, and a time where almost any traditional household appliance, be it an oven, a microwave, a washing machine, or a dishwasher is now a smart appliance.
As we delve faster and deeper into the internet of things, it pays to step aside from the leisurely smart devices we are accustomed to and pay heed to the implication of smart technologies in the industries that we need to survive. A ground-breaking (yes, pun intended) Market Research Report was released in the August of 2018 (Report Code SE 4043) on the forecast of the smart agriculture market, projecting a global forecast to the year 2023.
A research period that was based in the year 2017 valued at USD $6.34 billion that year is projected to be worth over twice as much, calculated to be worth USD $13.50 billion, by the year 2023. This growth is expected at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.39% (*cue economists jumping with excitement*) between the years 2018 and 2023. And, this information, mind you, is better than good news for tech developers who now have another more fruitful business application to focus on.
For anyone with any interest or knowledge of the functionalities of national and international markets, there’s no doubt about the fact that developing a smarter agriculture industry paves way for a more yielding one, not only in the amounts of product yielded, but also (and especially) in the quality, assurance, and maintenance of the product and its process. If you’re not on the same page with us yet, please refer back to the figure USD$13.50 billion and just imagine the size of such a pile of cash.
Now that we agree on the obvious, note that this smart technology is not only needed in one niche market region but across the world, from the Americas and Europe all the way to Africa and the Asia Pacific. For tech giants, this is a bucket load of cash that they can start reeling in as they start to develop smart chips that can automate many farming processes. Smartphones are for just 2 billion people, but smart agriculture is a survival need for 7.7 billion.
There are five main categories of agriculture: precision farming, livestock monitoring, fish farming, smart greenhouses, and others (which includes orchid, forestry, and horticulture). In these categories, tech developers have dozens of hardware and software development business opportunities. To name a few: in the hardware sector, precision farming could use automation and control systems as well as sensing and monitoring systems. Livestock monitoring could use RFID tags and readers, sensors, transmitters, mounting equipment, and GPS devices. Fish farming could use sensors and GPS/GNSS, and smart greenhouses could use HVAC systems, LED grow lights, and sensors.
On the software side of things, all of these agriculture categories could use local and web based softwares as well as cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). With the development of all these actual products comes the opportunity to set up a whole customer care and maintenance service division as well (cha-ching!). Services expected to maintain these products are system and integration consulting, managed services, connectivity services, assisted professional services, and maintenance and support. The examples listed above are just at the surface of the potential that the smart agriculture industry holds for tech giants; we can only imagine where else this can lead.
One main challenge that comes alongside the momentous benefits of the IoT is the fact that it is not accessible for all because it is most certainly not cheap, and not all people know about or want it. In an interview conducted by Lorin Fries with Tony Franklin, General Manager for the Internet of Things at Intel, Franklin explained that stepping aside from a business perspective, tech companies such as Intel do realize that not everyone is able to afford every kind of technology and not one size fits all.
This opens up a whole chapter of research and development that companies such as Intel are taking head on to improve their automation products and services whilst making them accessible for the greater public. It also demands that such tech companies reach out and start to educate small farming businesses and reluctant farmers towards the benefits of smart agriculture. Franklin has made clear that smart agriculture is at the heart of IoT at Intel and it is a booming opportunity for many companies to follow.
An industry that can double in worth in just 5 years is not something to let pass by. USD $13.50 billion is no small amount. The insights discovered through this report and other research conducted in the area of smart agriculture shows that this is a win-win for all parties involved.
Businessmen now have tons of financial opportunities to explore, tech giants have a whole new sector of technological development to gear towards, farmers will be able to directly reap the benefits (another pun well intended) from the automation to have a safer, more secure, more accurate, more reliable, and more dependable farming experience.
And here’s the best part: every single man, woman, other, and child will be able to have a consistent healthy food supply. So, step aside from your smartphone screen and open your eyes up to the smarts that could be growing the very food you eat.