Cows wearing VR headsets is amusing but once you have chuckled, you begin to think that there must be a good commercial reason for it and not just a comedic one.
And there is. In Russia, scientists and farmers have been studying what makes cows produce better and larger amounts of milk. It turns out that if you allow cows to watch (or be immersed in) a warm, sunny, summer field then its output increases, presumably to the point of making it more than worthwhile.
Cows wearing VR headsets is not the only application of technology to prove useful in agriculture. In fact, counter-intuitively, farming is a prime candidate to be transformed using digital tools.
For years now, aerial, infrared photography has been used to scan fields to assess where to plant certain crops and how much irrigation is needed, where. More recently, in a conversation with KPN in the Netherlands a use case came up whereby drones can be linked to scanners via 5G to assess how much water tulip fields need and how many tulips can be grown in certain parts of a property.
Cows wearing VR headsets, tulip monitoring and vertical farming are all benefits that AI based technology can bring to bear on agriculture. It also demonstrates how technology partnerships can be harnessed to produce real solutions, if the whole thing is based on common sense.
Robotics is also coming of age in many arenas, and the best solutions are ones driven by common sense. For instance, scientists in a village in Indonesia built a robot for fun and then turned the machine, made from pots, pans and an old television into a robot that visits people with COVID, delivering food, essentials – and a smile.
There are, of course, other applications of new technology that are just baffling, in the same way we used to be confused and amused by the Internet of Silly Things. One such that crossed our desk recently was a report into golf ball pricing, using, said the headline, AI to cross reference and filter the data. While golf players out there may think that is entirely sane, to us it simply poses the question ‘why’ and why do you need AI to do that?
Cows wearing VR headsets is amusing but makes the point that technology will solve problems and increase efficiency in many and unexpected ways and that human ingenuity is where it starts.
The other thought, though, is what role a telco will play in a use case involving cows?