“Precision agriculture" aims to use sensors and clever algorithms to deliver water, fertilisers and pesticides only to crops that actually need them. The combination of the technologies will help feed a world whose population is forecast to hit almost 10 billion by 2050. If farmers can irrigate only when necessary, and avoid excessive pesticide use, they can save money and boost output.

Current existing systems can cost $1,000 a sensor - too much for many farmers outside the agricultural giants, let alone those in areas where the productivity gains and reduced costs will be most impactful. New IoT sensors that probe moisture, temperature and acidity in the soil, and can be distributed across a wide area, are fairly cheap, and can be powered with inexpensive solar panels.

[thing-it] reduces the cost in getting data from sensor to farmer by providing out of the box analytic capabilites that do not require real time streaming data. Few rural farms enjoy perfect mobile-phone coverage, and Wi-Fi networks do not have the range to cover entire fields. So most precision-agriculture systems spot delivery of mobile cellular base stations, even via drone, allows the user to cheaply upload the data and get analysis in return.



Senor data in of itself is not enough - by integrating 3rd party data sources such as weather conditions, prior crop yields, chemical composition analysis, with image data delivered via drone, farmers can develop a single panoramic view of the entire farm. Sensor data can be laid atop this view, and [thing-it] can then extrapolate a handful of sensor readings into predicted values for moisture, acidity and so on at any given point.