Simplify launches ‘plug-n-play’ SmarterThings precision farming solution


The challenges facing the agriculture sector are amplified by climate change and deforestation, causing agricultural land degradation. Moreover, aging farmers, lack of data and improper use of fertilizers are causes of lower productivity. This can be automated through the use of precision farming technologies.

Traditionally, bespoke precision farming solutions are mostly vendor-specific, unscalable and take time to deploy with massive integration effort. In a multi-vendor deployment environment, data is sent to vendor-specific clouds and made accessible through vendor-specific apps. This creates unfederated data sources, data disparity and inaccessibility using a single application. Due to different security standards and policies employed by respective vendors, data security can be compromised too.

Simplify SmarterThings solution framework creates a plug-n-play precision farming ecosystem, enabling multi-vendor participation via modular building blocks. The concept of SmarterThings is highly modular yet scalable without extensive integration effort. Literally, sensors and devices from various manufacturers can be connected via SmarterThings Sensing Nodes, with each node connecting to the ,SmarterThings Data Cloud seamlessly and securely via the state-of-the-art SmarterThings Connectivity APIs . The data collected will be stored, cleansed, analyzed, modeled and presented on SmarterThings farmOS dashboard. Such valuable data can be used for weather forecast, yield prediction, farm automation and control with SmarterThings Artificial Intelligence for Industry Automation (AI4IA) cloud apps, which make the solution highly dynamic and customizable.

The launch introduces SmarterThings Weather Sensing and Vision Sensing nodes, each of which can be pluggable into any off-grid farm at speed and scale. The Sensing Node combines high-precision digital weather sensors coupled with A.I. cameras to feed high-quality visuals into Simplify SmarterThings A.I. for Industry Automation (AI4IA) module to provide situational awareness for farms, detect and deter animal intrusions, identify leaves and fruits growth and early disease detection, enabled by digital imaging analysis with artificial intelligence. In addition, remote soil sensing can be carried out with portable SmarterThings Soil Sensing node, a set of multi-depth soil sensors that are capable of reading soil parameters at 5 different depths without needing an IoT gateway.

Through the SmarterThings Certification Program, Simplify welcomes participation from IoT manufacturers to join the SmarterThings open ecosystem, bringing agriculture solutions quicker together and empowering more digital farmers in the process. Currently, Simplify has certified two international IoT manufacturers, on using its SmarterThings Connectivity APIs to send soil and weather data directly to the SmarterThings Data Cloud, underlining the important values of having a multi-vendor solution framework. The first full-scale SmarterThings solution was deployed in a state-owned Harumanis mango farm in Perlis earlier this year, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Malaysia.