Three updates on a previous blog post on connected cows and the Internet of Things:
The NPR Planet Money team recently introduced its listeners to Claudia, the high-tech cow. They say:
“When you ask Robert Fulper [who runs Fulper Farms, a dairy farm in upstate New Jersey,] what’s driving all these innovations in dairy farming, he sounds indistinguishable from a factory owner. ‘The free market forced that to happen,’ he says. ‘Because either you were going to make a lot of milk … quickly and efficiently … or you wouldn’t be in business.’ The Fulpers did it, which is why they are among the last remaining dairy farmers in upstate New Jersey. Those farmers who couldn’t keep up with the changes are long gone.”
And BostInno reports on Meater, a start-up at the Harvard Innovation lab. According to the young connectors of cows, Meater is “a mobile biosensor platform for large-scale cattle feedlots — big data for big agribusiness. The system’s core component is the Meater Tag, a low-cost affixable electronic device that collects data on animal temperature and behavior trends. Our company employs sophisticated analytics to enable feedlots to detect and treat illness early, increasing gross margin and minimizing operating risk.”
Finally, in the previous post I predicted 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.” Well, some entrepreneurs are already working on it.
At the just-concldued Economist‘s Technology Frontiers conference, Andy Hobsbawm, founder and chief marketing officer of Evrythng, described the “Facebook of things.” Wired: “Just as Facebook allows us to create digital representations of ourselves in the cloud, we should also be able to have the same for products, giving them a unique profile and content and services that can be connected to that…
Clearly these sorts of ancillary services are already available on the web, but this approach could help to bridge the gap between the people who buy things they care about and are looking for supplementary applications, and the companies who make those things who are looking to connect with their customers but don’t currently have a way of doing so.
‘Customer relationship management systems are fairly crude. If there was a world where products had digital identities, marketers would understand much more about how the product would be used,’ [Hobsbawm] explained.”
A cow’s milk is also a product that could have a digital identity to improve customer relationships. The Internet of social cows?