This interview is part of our new AI in Agriculture series, where we interview the world's top thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between AI and agriculture.
In this interview, we speak with Jeff Klaumann, Chief Technology Officer at Internet of Things America, to understand how his company is using AI to transform agriculture, and what the future of agriculture holds.
1. What’s the story behind Internet of Things America? Why and how did you begin?
JK: Internet of Things America was founded upon the idea of simplifying how technology is implemented for rural America. Rural applications are one of the most impactful, least serviced elements of industrial IoT in America. To effectively approach this problem, we offer our managed services and simplify the user experience at the intersection of connected sensor technologies and thriving agricultural markets. We primarily leverage low-power, wide area networks (LPWAN) and sensors to monitor and control important data points across rural areas of the United States. LPWAN devices are ideal for rural applications where cellular or broadband connectivity may be limited. This enables IoT America to operate LPWAN as an extension of the cellular or broadband provider while offering IoT America service to their existing customers. Our approach makes it simple for farmers, ranchers, and municipalities to collect actionable sensor data to improve yields, reduce operational costs, and conserve resources.
2. Please describe your use case and how Internet of Things America uses artificial intelligence:
JK: Without context and action, sensor data does not provide much value. Utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning, many of our solutions are able to not only collect data but can also provide actionable insights to improve crop health or improve operational efficiency. For example, let’s take soil health. Many crop farmers are still using manual soil management method, i.e. gauging soil moisture levels by a ‘feel’ test or collecting soil samples to send off to a testing facility. By leveraging soil sensors that provide key data points to a machine-learning based cloud platform, farmers can visualize up-to-date soil health on a web dashboard that provides recommendations for irrigation, fertilization, pest control, and more.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has Internet of Things America done for them?
“I made my farm more efficient while maintaining compliance with water conservation regulations.” – Samantha, IoT America customer
After having the Soil Moisture Monitoring Solution installed for a few weeks, Samantha is already reaping the rewards. She can now monitor soil moisture level of various fields in her orchard without having to drive from field to field to perform manual soil moisture checks.
Samantha has also configured moisture alerts so she can receive notifications when a certain area of land falls beneath the desired moisture threshold. As a result, she has reclaimed valuable labor resources in the middle of a very busy growing season, further enabling her to increase efficiency on her farm and grow her bottom line.