The Internet of agriculture is blooming as technology helps farming morph into a very precise science. Agribots, drones and smart machinery is tending to crops, while animals and fields are able to communicate directly with farmers, thanks to sensors and connected devices and systems.
Revolutionizing an industry
Farmers need to meet growing world food demands while grappling with the added challenges of limited provision of new arable land, climate change, rising energy prices and decreased availability of rural labour.
Fortunately, the Internet of Things (IoT) has already reached the countryside and opened up new ways of cultivating soil and rearing livestock. Open-source platforms are evolving rapidly, allowing farmers to collect, share, analyze and use data.
Smart farming technology is increasing productivity while saving time and money. It looks likely to boom, according to a report by Business Insider, which says that 75 million IoT devices will be shipped for agricultural uses in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%. The smart agriculture market is expected to reach USD 18,45 billion in 2022, at a CAGR of 13,8%.
Why standardization is vital
The IoT integrates virtual complex information technologies, such as communication, networking, identification and security, with billions of “sensorized” and connected devices and systems. These then gather and share relevant data, often in real-time. Some examples include: agricultural machinery, building alarm systems, connected cars, dog bracelets, household appliances, insulin pumps, smart pill boxes and intelligent clothing. In order for the IoT to function smoothly, its components must be interoperable.
Several IEC technical committees (TCs) and their subcommittees (SCs) contribute towards achieving this. ISO/IEC JTC 1, the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of IEC and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), covers information technology.
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 41: IoT and related technologies, serves as the focus for the JTC 1 IoT standardization programme, including sensor networks and wearables technologies. Standardization is fundamental in defining a common language and reference architecture that works for the diverse technologies and stakeholders involved. Subcommittee 41 is currently developing International Standards for these and for a framework of interoperability.
Read more about farming from your phone in e-tech magazine.