Rising food demand needs a transitional change in traditional agriculture. An amalgamation of AR-IoT can provide cost-effective and optimal solutions to farmers.
The life of a farmer is simple. Afterall it involves simple tasks such as tilling the land, sowing seeds, irrigating and harvesting when the crop is ready.
Do you think the same way? If yes, then you are not alone. Most people who do not have the first-hand experience in farming or agriculture perceive it as a simple activity. Reality is – the life of a farmer is pretty tough, especially when farming is done on a large scale. For instance, if a large-scale farmer wishes to check for infestation, he has to check the entire land manually. That’s not simple at all.
With the ever-increasing human population, the food demand is also increasing exponentially. The world population is estimated to reach up to 9.7 billion by the year 2050. Naturally, food demand is going to surge manifolds. This means small scale farming and traditional farming methods will prove inefficient to meet such huge demands. To meet such a huge demand for food, farmers need a transitional change in the way agriculture is done. But any change isn’t always easy to bring about. Here, systems based on Augmented Reality (AR) combined with IoT sensors can be of big help. Such systems provide a powerful tool for farmers. For instance, while checking infestation, the AR-based systems can help farmers to track the complete field in a single dashboard without the need to go out in the field.
IoT alone is not enough
Internet of things (IoT) allows a network of objects connected through the internet to collect and exchange data/information. It takes the help of technologies like RFID, sensors or smartphones. The easily scalable and environment-friendly IoT technologies have helped locate the crop with updated and visualized IoT information. It has considerably enhanced the efficiency of farming. However, the traditional way of visualizing the IoT data in agriculture does not provide sufficient information about the physical features (shape, size, color, etc.) and limits the interpretation of IoT data. This demands an interactive visualization of IoT data.
IoT with AR can work wonders
AR technologies can be used to support IoT data visualization. As IoT’s sensor technologies can find and collect data of any physical object, AR can be used to enhance the object’s visual representation by superimposing the virtual objects (like graphics, texts, sound, etc.) on the real-world environment around the user. This allows enhanced interaction with the object.
In agriculture, AR can help farmers in interacting with the crop through virtual content. IoT data of the physical crop (real-time data) can be overlaid onto the virtual content of AR (virtual infographics) in such a way that farmers can visualize the crop conditions from diverse angles. Such AR-based applications greatly help farmers in decision-making throughout the farming process.
Here is how an agricultural AR system can aid the farmers:
An agriculture AR can be used to screen the captured images of affected crop (real-time visualization) and help in identifying the insects. Not all insects are harmful to the crops and require to be treated the same way. The application helps farmers understand these differences.
The AR application also takes into account the IoT data inputs (about crop and insects) and suggests suitable pesticides for pest control. Besides, it also analyses the size/type of crop and suggests vital information such as the quantity of pesticide, the ratio of preparation of pesticide and the estimated costs.
Assessment of soil quality
AR technology can be used to assess soil/land quality and the kind of crops it is suitable for. This will help farmers in better decision making resulting in improved crop quality and quantity.
Real-time weather information
Many farming activities are dependent on weather. Farmer’s efforts can go waste if certain farming activities are done in unfavorable weather conditions. AR can provide the farmers with real-time weather information and ensure that they schedule their farming activities judiciously.
Wrapping it up!
The use of AR in agriculture is not very old. AR has tremendous potential which is yet to be harnessed. Integration of AR with IoT in agriculture system opens up endless possibilities. In the coming years, AR will play a key role in the agricultural system and bring a revolutionary change in the way farming is done.