It’s Freitag and the weekend is upon us. Each week this column will focus on light hearted musings of the wireless industry and all of the moving parts that make this industry work. Claudia Bacco, Managing Director – EMEA, has spent her entire career the telecom, IT and Security. Having experience at an operator, software and hardware vendors and as a well-known industry analyst, she has many opinions on the market. She’ll be sharing those opinions along with ongoing trend analysis for RCR Wireless News through daily contributions going forward.
A Swiss company named Anemon is working with local dairy farmers to provide a better alternative to knowing when their cows are in heat. Sounds like a strange machine-to-machine application, but just hold on. And first a bit of background, because like me you probably aren’t a cow reproductive expert.
In order for a dairy cow to be able to produce milk she needs to have a baby. This translates into one baby per year to keep milk production at desired levels. If you aren’t successful in having a calf, you are likely out between 300 – 500 Euros in lost milk revenue per cow per year that doesn’t have a calf. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you have a high number of cows in your herd it can add up.  And if this is your only source of income it’s even more important.
How do you know when your cow is in heat? First of all, only about 60% of cows show external symptoms when they are in heat. This means the farmer must watch the cow’s behavior and take their internal temperature four times per day for signs of it being the right time to breed. Twice during the day and twice during the night the cow’s temperature needs to be checked. So farmers aren’t getting much sleep or having much time for other farm requirements. This causes the prospects for surviving on dairy farming alone to be difficult.
Anemon’s solution not only measures the cow’s temperature but the cow’s movement. There is an internal device which is easily inserted to take the cow’s temperature and transmit that information to a small box on the cow’s bell collar. The temperature and level of movement is transmitted to the farmer’s smartphone to alert him it’s time to breed the cow. Anemon
So what do vehicles have to do with this? I spoke with Kurt Hug, chairman of the board of directors for Anemon. He is also a professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, Switzerland, in the Automotive Telemetry division. When he was originally approached to help solve this problem he went to his roots in automotive telemetry to develop a solution. Why couldn’t cows with sensors be tracked in the same fashion as a vehicle fleet? You monitor a moving organism, transmit the data via the cloud to a server and take action as a result of that data. Pretty cool.
KoalaIn yet another animal-related M2M application, Telit Wireless Solutions is helping to track the threatened Koala population in Australia. The Australian Koala population is targeted to be around 100,000 with 4,000 killed annually by dogs and cars. They are hard to track as they live high up in trees and their anatomy is not conducive to a normal collar.
A Koala specific collar was developed that can track their location, level of moment and if they have been involved in a vehicular accident. Similar to the cow scenario, the information is transmitted via wireless base stations to the cloud where the data can be downloaded and analyzed.
As a self-professed animal lover, it’s great to see technology being used to help provide higher levels of understanding and care for animals. I hope there’s more to come from these companies and others.
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