The rise of smart farming is a sure indicator that agriculture is swiftly adopting cutting edge tech. The new smart farming technology is driven to a large extent by robotics, automation, data analytics, and IoT. Yet, augmented reality unmistakably stands out among the other innovations that are currently disrupting agriculture.
Augmented reality can help agriculturers in different ways: monitoring field conditions, identifying pest infestations, workforce training, etc. In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth account of how AR adds value to smart farming and what benefits it brings to farmers.
Augmented Reality Benefits For Smart Farming
As simple as it may seem, farming is one of the most laborious trades on the planet. Both crop farming and livestock farming are highly time- and resource-intensive, need special skills, and require physical labor. In this regard, AR can do a lot to assist farmers in streamlining their operations. Here are the business benefits of augmented reality for agriculture optimization.
1. Facilitating Decision-Making
AR plays a significant role in precision farming – the data-driven approach to agriculture. By offering farmers instant access to valuable data, AR can assist them in making accurate and timely decisions. Surely, collecting and analyzing this data will demand using AR technology in parallel with AI analytics and the IoT, but the outcomes may give farmers an unprecedented competitive edge.
2. Accelerating Training
Today’s farmers have a lot to learn if they want to stay updated on the latest trends in the industry. Augmented reality minimizes training time and enables farm personnel to learn on the go by delivering micro-learning content in real-time.
3. Reducing Staffing Expenses
Coupled with monitoring technology and AI for precision farming, AR can reduce the need to hire farm workers to regularly check on the state of the crops or livestock. On top of that, farmers can now hire personnel with only basic skills and knowledge and train them using real-time AR training.
4. Preventing Disruptions and Downtime
AR can facilitate the preventive maintenance of farm machinery. With AR content offering timely and informative updates, farmers can detect the breakages, defects or malfunctions, and schedule timely repairs.
How Augmented Reality Works
AR for smart farming has a lot to bring to the table. To demystify the AR concept, let’s now uncover how augmented reality works.
AR technology augments the immediate real-life surrounding with text, sound, graphics, and multimedia, creating an enriched version of reality. Unlike VR it doesn’t create a separate immersive environment but enhances the existing one. AR delivers this experience through a smartphone screen or hardware like AR glasses. Customers get to see the AR content in front of their eyes while being able to look through it.
The software part of the AR set generates the content that it later projects onto the AR glasses or smartphone screen. For example, a farmer, wearing AR glasses, examines a crop for pest infestations, and the AR software identifies known pests, matches them to the ones a farmer spots in the field, and transmits the information about them to the AR screen.
How AR Can Optimize Farming Processes
The benefits of augmented reality are even clearer when supported by examples of how it contributes to agriculture optimization. Below are some interesting augmented reality farming applications.
Cattle Farmers Use AR for Smart Farming
As a new smart farming technology, AR has a lot to offer to cattle farmers. Combined with smart sensors, it enables farmers to mark a particular animal and regularly check on it. For instance, if one of the cows in the herd is sick, farmers can get automatic notifications about the animal’s condition.
Coupled with all-in-one herd monitoring solutions like Nedap CowControl, AR tools deliver relevant information directly in front of the farmers’ eyes and enable them to act on the spot and make timely decisions.
Augmented Reality Helps Farmers Discover New Opportunities
In farming, there’s simply no room for trial and error, and many farmers are often wary of implementing disruptive solutions. Smart technology in farming seems too abstract and irrelevant. For example, in Africa, farms were in dire need of agriculture irrigation optimization, but farmers were highly reluctant to adopt it because they didn’t believe in its potential. By using AR, irrigation engineers managed to convince local farmers that adopting new irrigation technology will help them improve crop yields.
AR Aids Farmers in the Tool Selection Process
Modern farming involves the use of complex tools and machinery as well as making decisions about which one to choose in any particular situation. The choice may be difficult, especially for inexperienced farmworkers. Here’s where AR may offer assistance: an AR app will evaluate the current task and project the best option onto the AR device screen.
Mass adoption of augmented reality in large scale agriculture is unavoidable. Be at the forefront of this technology, and start thinking about how AR can aid you in your agricultural business. The cost of AR is certainly of concern to many, however, as AR technology gets more sophisticated and affordable, farmers will find it easier to implement AR to streamline their agricultural processes.Guest Post
About the Guest Author(s)
As CEO at Eastern Peak, a professional software consulting and development company, Alexey ensures top quality and cost-effective services to clients from all over the world. Alexey is also a founder and technology evangelist at several technology companies. Previously, as a CEO of the Gett (GetTaxi) company, Alexey was in charge of developing the revolutionary Gett service from the ground up and deploying the operation across the globe.