IoT Agro Farming

Smart Farming

Farming and Agriculture is the backbone of Indian and for that matter any countries Economy. It is the main source of food and nutrients for the major Ecosystem and Ecology altogether. But with the increasing population, Economic and Civil unrest, pollution, global warming, etc, the farming and agriculture is facing a huge task. To cater to billions of people.

The main future course is that The world will need to produce 70% more food in 2050 than it did in 2006 in order to feed the growing population of the Earth, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. To meet this demand, farmers and agricultural companies are turning to the Internet of Things for analytics and greater production capabilities.

Internet of Things is the main barrier breaker which is going to bring tech giants closer to farmers. Till now, any industry that have come close to helping farmers are the movers industry who build huge machines like sowing, rowing, tractors and vehicles which help them with movement of raw materials and produce.

  1. In 2015, Lot of investments have been done in companies and startups which are working towards farming and smart agriculture. The details on the investment does suggest that the tech giants are turning towards Agriculture.

The Internet of Things helps in going into the farming or help farmers in the way they do farming and help them get the most out of it. Lets look at some examples of what is there in store.

  1. Farmers in US and developed countries have already begun employing some high tech farming techniques and technologies in order to improve the efficiency of their day-to-day work. For example, sensors placed in fields allow farmers to obtain detailed maps of both the topography and resources in the area, as well as variables such as acidity and temperature of the soil. They can also access climate forecasts to predict weather patterns in the coming days and weeks.
  2. Since water and minerals are very much basic for any irrigation, there has been companies which develop sensors to accurately measure the water stress and mineral content like Farmx
  3. Kaa is open source software that is enabling IOT fetures for smart farming. HERE

 

  1. If there is huge lands of cultivation then time to time management, topography mapping, seed sowing, irrigating, etc would be a huge pain and lot of farmers lose track of their exact produce and work done. Drones have been used to solve the issue of mass sowing and monitoring with drones communicating with each other drones, exchanging notes are they plant seeds, or spray water or just monitor. DroneSeed company helps to achieve that.

 

  1. Also to the fact that every year the data regarding cultivation keeps changing and farmers have lot of data from their experience and this data helps in understanding and developing more better solutions, the data analytics too play a vital role. Farmobile does just that.

 

In India too, the scenario for Iot seems slow but groing. Lets look at some news and info there.

  1. The draft bill is going to give a huge boost to companies. Source.
  2. TCS to help farmers detect crop diseases

Farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab will be able to detect late blight disease in this season’s potato crop through mobile phones, thanks to Tata Consultancy Services. In a pilot project being run by the IT major across a few villages in these states for the past two years, agricultural experts are able to gauge the crop’s susceptibility to disease based on soil and weather (humidity, temperature and rainfall) parameters.
The agri-experts gather the information from a wireless sensor network spread across the farms and are able to determine the disease risk. “Now we will introduce a mobile application that will involve farmers in disease detection,” says Dr Bhushan Jagyasi, a scientist at the TCS Innovation Lab in Mumbai

  1. Tracking crop management

Krishna Kumar, left his job at GE where he worked as a software engineer to set up a start-up, CropIn, which provides software solutions and analytics for crop management. This application tags crops and tracks their development till the harvest. The system, when fed with information pertaining to sowing time and seed type, provides crop development information at various stages of production.

“Whenever the field staff of food processing companies visits any farm they carry a smartphone loaded with the app. They feed crop-related information into the system, which in turn suggests the best practice for growing the respective crop. If temperature dips, for example, the system informs the corporation or the farmer about the safeguards,” says Kumar, who graduated from Bangalore-based MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology. Today, CropIn is used by 40 companies, including Pepsico and Mahindra Agri, and benefits 100,000 farmers across 15 states.

  1. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed an android based app which collects real-time information to assess the damage to agricultural crop due to hailstorm. This app aims to allow the farmers to process faster claims to insurance during crop damage by accessing real-time data. It currently applies to rice and cotton crops in the states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra.

With lot of companies and countries already plunging into the industry, India has its time to jump in early and take the bigger piece of pie since India thrives on agriculture and what better place than India for India to innovate in agro.

Applying for the post of Assistant :P

Gone are the days when business people used only PDAs (which are obsolete) and personal assistants to do small things like knowing time, setting alarms, making shopping list, etc.

The smartphones are able to do the same in the form of text based apps or some alarms features are in built in any phones, but the new trend seems to the Wireless Smart Devices which connect to other devices at home and control them.This is also one of the technologies of IoT or Internet of Things.

These are some smart wireless speakers which are connected with WiFi and it is able to sync itself with the online media to get information. Lets look at the main guys who are creating a market for this:

Amazon Echo:

Amazon came up with Echo/Alexa (Alexa is its name supposedly), which connects and controls using the voice commands given to it. Yup, its voice command capable and can be placed anywhere in a room and it can do its job.

Amazon Echo also is AI and uses its Artificial Intelligence to gather information and provide answers to the questions asked.. Its been in the market for quite a year and so the developers have been adding capabilities like order you Domino’s, play Spotify playlists, or get things from Amazon Prime, also trying to match up with its partners like Uber for scheduling a pick up from home.

Amazon has been making few new tweaks into its Echo and is creating similar products to flood the market and stay ahead.

Google Home:

Google recently entered the market for voice command assistant in the form Google Home- its wireless Speakers. Its clear, crisp in audibility and had all the information that it needs getting from Google. Also the speakers are AI capable and it does provide some witty and convincing answers to questions asked..

It is priced a bit cheaper than Echo and is already creating waves of Echo in the market.. HeHe…

Also from the time Echo hit the market, the market is abuzz with some not so famous alternatives to Echo and some of them seem to do some basic assistance work.

CastleHub

CastleHub is basically a huge speaker with CPU functionalities, having 30GB hard disk space and it runs on CastleOS. The OS is concentrated on SmartHome connecting devices. The CastleHub can be used to run apps like NetFlix, Spotify,etc and it works on Windows 10 and on top of that , the Xbox Kinect can be connected to it and can be used all around the house for some pretty good entertainment.

Its pricing is higher than Echo and Google Home, since its features are more of a laptop without a display 😛

Mycroft:

Mycroft is small, sleak, does only few and does not want to compete the big players in terms of features but it does squash them out in terms of hardware. It is developed on Arduino and Rasberry Pi single board computers which i think is pretty cool. Since lot of developers are there in both of these hardware, the amount of enhancement it can get in terms of OpenSource and DIY is going to be huge.

Amazon too offers secondary option to its Echo in terms of Amazon Nano and Amazon Dot.

Sure it does seem like the space for home assistant is getting crowded soon by products from big players to Kickstarter crowd funded ones, it seems to be evolving into more personalized assistant products. Also the development of IoT seems to help in growing this industry.

Ecommerce OctoberFest

Who doesnt love to shop online? And that too when it is festive season in India in the month of October, We have the Navratri, Dussehra and Deepavali. With all the big and grand festivals happening in October, the streets will be filled with people thronging to shops buying a lot of things.

 

The Ecommerce is not left behind in attracting people to buy online and in October, the Ecommerce biggies are into some serious market wars. Let me tell how it is, Lets look at the offerings in ads by the big players in the Ecommerce Industry.

Flipkart, the startup-grown-into-company has launched its BIG BILLION SALE on the first week of October.

“Flipkart’s always catchy ad with young people acting as grown adults”.

Myntra has also joined in with the BBD sale with Flipkart so the fashion and apparel shopping also gets huge discounts, and of course the festival season is incomplete without apparel shopping.

Now in the previous years too, the BIG BIILION sales have been good and bad for the company. It has put the company on the high that it took so much courage to go on sales with such high discounts on almost all products, but it also put it down since the sites remained down or slow or “Out of Stock”. Since then the BIG BILLION sales is always a mixed feeling for FLIPKART.

Amazon, the MNC which is in India for more than 3 years and Amazon.in is directly locking horns with Flipkart on its hyperlocal market position, has come up with his own version of the sales for the month of October.

Amazon.com , the parent company has been pumping in money for amazon.in and its sure fighting its way to claim the market leader position.

Snapdeal , the other ecommerce player in the market, which also teams up with Flipkart in the fight for supremacy, has turned up for the october fest by launching its own october sale.

Snapdeal, with his new looks and avatar and new ads, is launching himself along with this Diwali SALE. The UNBOX DIWALI SALE is aiming at getting more space for snapdeal as i see it is locking horns with the big players but is trying to get more piece of the cake.

 

Not left back, the company whose ads i see very less on TV has started coming up. Ebay.in has started using some new ads which are aimed at Diwali Shopping, but hasnt yet announced any big discounts or sales week or something, but it sure seems to spice up the existing festive season.

This October Fest in Ecommerce shopping in India is sure to get lot of Discounts in new shopping crowd. Also for the part of the companies, this festive season is critically important since, this is the time when almost the whole of India goes into shopping mode and there is a chance of making profits even after providing heavy discounts in products. The companies in this market at reeling under heavy losses and the companies pretty much are exhausting their investors fund, so any small sale high or any small mistake can make or break the company’s reputation in this market.

Lets wait and see if we get to see more Ecommerce platforms entering this OctoberFest and getting their piece of pie. Meanwhile all I am doing is lookng at all these websites and building up my shopping list for the festival.

 

Happy Navratri and Happy Deepavali.

Five Games Expected this year end

Everyone wants a little thrill in life, an escapism that might take us away from our monotonous lives and pump up our adrenaline levels. But not everyone can go for climbing the Everest or feeling the beats at Tomorrowland. So for the rest of us, Games are our life force.

Like always, companies are working relentlessly for providing us with the best ever games. The competition is bigger than ever. With games like World of Warcraft: Legion, Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls III already rocking the market, consumer expectations are now higher than ever. Everyone wants the year to end with a bang. And it looks like, they won’t be disappointed.

Here are the 5 upcoming games this year that might leave your game soul satisfied:

 

  • TITANFALL 2

Ever since Titanfall rocked the market back in 2014, the sequel has been a highly anticipated one. Coming from the makers of Call of Duty, Titanfall 2 boasts of all the thrill of its predecessor, while fixing the problems of single-player mode.
Already hailed as “the most anticipated game” of 2016, Titanfall 2 has bagged Games Critics Awards as the Best Online Multiplayer game.

The official trailer video:

/watch?v=HwbutTQ8Yow

Even though the  beta release faced backlash, amends were quick to be made, and the game is all set to face the D-Day.

New features:

  • Single player story campaign mode
  • Size new Titan Models
  • Improved skill system
  • Multi-Platform

 

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Publisher: EA

Engine: Source

Platform: Playstation 4/ Xbox One/ MS Windows

Release Date: October 28, 2016

  • FIFA 17

One of the most popular franchise in the Gaming world, FIFA is back with it’s latest edition, and we are only sure that it will be as awesome.  The graphics sure as hell are going to be amazing, given that FIFA is using the Frostbite engine formerly used by high-end games like Battlefield.

Add that to the existing popularity of the game, and we have the recipe of record-breaking sales.

New Features:

  • Single-player campaign mode, called The Journey
  • Frostibite Engine that guarantees high-end graphics
  • J1 League and J.League Cup introduced for the first time
  • Pushback Technology introduced, increasing physical play overhaul

Developer:  EA Canada

Publisher: EA Sports

Engine: Frostbite

Platforms: Android/ iOS/ Xbox One/Xbox 360/Playstation 3/Playstation 4/MS Windows

Release Date: September 29, 2016

3)Dishonored 2

Sequel to the 2012 stealth action-adventure game Dishonored, which was a surprise success on it’s own accord, Dishonored 2 has raised the bar of expectation from it. It’s appearance at E3 2016 gained accolades, getting nominated for the “Game of the Show” alongside various other categories.


The game is dark and gritty, and thus is desperately awaited by the cult of “serious” gamers.

New features:

  • Introduction of Emily Kaldwin, the new female protagonist.
  • Non-lethal combat moves
  • Increased difficulty level compared to it’s predecessor.

“A mad game by mad minds”

-Lucy O’Brien, IGN

Developer:  Arkane Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Platforms: MS Windows/ PlayStation 4/Xbox One

Release Date: November  11, 2016

 

 

4)Mafia III

The upcoming open-world action-adventure video game, Mafia III is the debut for developer Hangar 13 for the Mafia series. Set in 1960s in the fictional recreation of New Orleans, the game promises deep insights into the crime world of the 60s. Many have hailed it to have the potential to be one of the best games on 2016.

“Mafia III is more than a crime spree” –Brandin Tyrrel, IGN

Developer: Hangar 13

Publisher: 2K Games

Platforms: MS Windows/OS X/ PlayStation 4/Xbox One

Release Date: October 7, 2016

5)Battlefield 1

Despite it’s name, the 14th installation in the Battlefield series, Battlefield 1 has most of us waiting desperately, largely due to the fresh backdrop of the plot. Ever since it’s trailer went viral on YouTube, there are speculations that it can be the most successful Battlefield game ever. The fact that it won the Game Critics Award for Best Action Game only strengthens that claim.

New Features:

  • World War I setup, a refreshing move from all the alien-based action games.
  • Eight Distinct Classes of Soldiers and weaponry.
  • More pronounced Open World Sandbox Environment.

Developer: EA DICE

Publisher: EA

Engine: Frostbite

Platforms: MS Windows/ Play Station 4/ Xbox One

Release Date: October 21, 2016

 

 

But that’s not it. Two of the most anticipated games are opening  this week, and the critics have already embraced them with arms wide open.

Forza Horizon 3:

The open-world expansion of the Forza series, Forza Horizon 3 provides an exquisite map of Australia, one of the largest ever, at the same time breaking all it’s previous records by including 350 cars in the gameplay.

Forza Horizon has currently taken the gamer world by storm, becoming the strong contender of the “Game of the Year” title.

“Rewriting the Aussie map to create something special” –CNET

“It’s a good dynamic, one that has worked expertly for three games.” –Brett Makedonski, Destructoid

Developer: Playground Games

Platforms: MS Windows/ Xbox One

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Scores:

IGN:9.5/10

Metacritic: 91/100

Destructoid:  9/10

XCOM 2:

The turn-based tactics game, XCOM 2 is the sequel of the 2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown.  The new concealment system along with the procedural generation of maps, has been appreciated by the critics. This one is another option for the “Game of the Year” title.

“A truly remarkable strategy game” –Telegraph

“An amazing game I’ll easily put hundreds of hours into”  -Dan Stapleton, IGN

Developer: Firaxis Games

Publisher: 2K Games

Platform: MS Windows/ OS X/Linux/PlayStation 4/Xbox One

Scores:

IGN: 9.3/10

Metacritic: 88/100

PC Gamer: 94/100

With such amazing title, along with games like Legend of Zelda and God of War lined up for next year. your gamer-soul is guaranteed to be receiving it’s satiation in the months to come.

Crazy Alternate Fuels for your Car

In the age of Hybrid vehicles, the concept of having any thing as fuel to run a vehicle is slowly catching up with researchers. Cars which run on electricity and fossil fuel has given way to new ideas for fuels and the combination of it to provide eco-friendly vehicles.

Apart from cars manufactured by Toyota and Tesla, there are few which may catch your attention

1.

Behold the New Hybrid Car that runs of Saltwater- Yes , you heard it right. The German car Quant E-Sport Limousine, is a very stylish sporty racer which works on the NanoFlowCell drive and energy concept. This new fuelcell is a prototype and the car has been made legal in Germany after undergoing various tests.

The car has been clocking very high speeds in 0-3 seconds. This car is doing very good for its hybrid engine category. Apart from the eco-fuel used, the car sports all the looks and specs required for a sports car. Worth waiting to watch its performance on the road.

2.

“Using an F3 race car as a real world example has pushed previously unconsidered materials into the demanding motorsport arena, and they are performing as well as more traditional materials such as carbon fibre. The talk will focus on the technical challenges that were overcome to build the car and will take guests through the design process from the very beginning.”

From the site of Warwick University, the research team have been making a Sport F3 car totally out of vegetables- body made of potatoes, steering made of carrots and runs of vegetable oil.

Seriously this one has gone miles ahead in being eco friendly apart from the fact that we need to produce more food if this goes into production.

3.

Using an already made hybrid car which runs of gasoline and modifying it to use algae as fuel.

The Algaeus or the hybrid Prius which is made to run on Algae was used across a Pan America travel by the VeggieVan Foundation. the researchers are closely working on it to provide a suitable solution towards making it a mass production reality.

4.

Apart from these there have been lot of instances wherein the students in various colleges have been working on incredible new fuel based hybrid vehicles.

One famous one is the NUNA. The students of Delft University started designing solar race cars in 2001 and had been doing since then.

Also, a team of students from RV Institutions, Bangalore have developed Chimera, a hybrid vehicle.

It does look like the future is paving way for different fuels and moreover we may achieve 100 % reusability of waste and non conventional energy sources.

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