How a “FitBit For Cows” Helps Farming IoT

Fitbit Cows Featured

Do you own a health-tracking device that informs you of your vital statistics? If you do, you may already know how these handy gadgets can keep a constant check of your health, so you’re always aware of any problems as they happen.

But what if we applied this technology to livestock in farms? Can it enhance the lives of farmers who have, until this point, gone ignored in the Internet of Things?

How IoT Can Help Farms

Fitbit Cows Farmer

This is what Quantified AG aims to do. By supplying farmers with equipment that automatically monitors the health of their livestock, taking care of animals becomes a lot easier.

The premise is simple: farmers give their livestock a FitBit-style health monitor that keeps track of the vital statistics of the animal. If something goes wrong – for instance, their temperature is too high – the farmer can get a real-time alert that something has gone wrong.

Fitbit Cows Sheep

Brian Schupbach, the co-founder of Quantified AG, said this about the new technology:

“The whole goal is to really monitor the temperature and activity patterns of these animals, and at the end of the day come to a determination if they’re healthy or sick. This helps cattle operations with labor and costs – and really treating animals that truly need to be treated, rather than kind of a guess-and-check game, which is what they’re currently doing.

“Around one in five cattle actually end up getting sick when they’re at a ranch or feed yard, which is a pretty high percentage. Humans are generally not very good at finding that… Even the best veterinarians are just about 60 percent accurate, and that’s even using diagnostic tools like thermometers and stethoscopes and things like that.”

Instead of having farmers manually monitor their livestock, IoT can do the job for them. It can measure each statistic based on how vital it is — for instance, the temperature only has to be taken once an hour.

All this data is then transmitted to the cloud and matched up to each cow, so farmers can keep track of every cow’s status.

Current Limitations

Fitbit Cows Heartbeat

At the moment animal FitBits aren’t very powerful. They have limited processing power and RAM, which makes them unable to do much more than reporting what they sense. This means that farmers will have to manually determine if their cows are in danger, rather than have an AI deduce it by itself.

Despite this, these IoT sensors are still a solid step forward for taking care of livestock. By having sensors track in real time, it eliminates the need for farmers to manually monitor their animals and do guesswork on if they’re okay or not. This should, in turn, allow farmers better peace of mind about the state of their livestock.

Futuristic Farms

For a while now farms have gone unnoticed in the world of IoT. With these new “animal FitBits,” however, that may change. Soon, farmers will be able to track their animal’s health via a cloud-based database, which is updated on the fly.

What ignored area do you think IoT can help in? Let us know below.

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Simon Batt
Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a freelance writer who loves fiction, technology, history, and cats.