In 2008, the number of things connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people on Earth. This according to a Cisco Infographic on the Internet of Things today and tomorrow. One Internet of Things start-up it mentions is Sparked, a Dutch company which developed sensors that are implanted in a cow’s ear. The data, transmitted wirelessly, is then used by the farmer to determine the health of individual cows as well as the herd. Much is also learned about fluctuations in diet, a cow’s response to environmental factors, and herd behavior.
Which reminded me of the secretary of the Holstein-Friesian Association of America,
who after seeing a card catalogue in the Iowa State University library in 1882, applied the idea to the 40,000 animals in the Holstein-Friesian Herd Book. He estimated that the number of new cards will double every two years. Noted Edward Tenner (in “From Slip to Chip,” Harvard Magazine, November-December 1990): “Here was a ‘cattle log’ in the truest sense.”
Given the rapid ascendance of the locavore movement, my prediction is that by 2040, we will follow our favorite cows, getting regular updates on the quality of their milk, sent wirelessly to our embedded Google++ chip.