Plantbeat measures the health of crops

Courtesy: Phytech

Courtesy: Phytech

Have you heard of PlantBeat for farms? It’s being developed in Israel thanks to an Open Innovation partnership that is bringing the so-called “internet of things” to the U.S. and Central America. More on what it is in a moment.

First, the partnership. Israeli agritech firm Phytech, is partnering with ADAMA Agricultural Solutions to sell its plant-alert system to farmers in North and South America.

Says Phytech CEO Sarig Duek, “We believe that ADAMA’s grower-focused approach will ensure the successful implementation of the technology for the benefit of growers worldwide.”

PlantBeat service equips crops with sensors that record the surrounding growing environment of the crop or individual plant. It tells farmers when the plants need water, the soil temperature and other information. All of the data is uploaded online in a cloud system to be accessed by scientists via their mobile apps. When they get the report, they can take the appropriate action.

They call it “plantbeat,” because the monitoring system mimics the way heart patients are monitored these days by physicians using the cloud to keep track of heart rhythms and abnormalities.

The company says the popular system is already used by 60 percent of Israel’s tomato farmers. It went to beta in California last year, and was a huge success.

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Could hologram technology change how wars are fought?

Courtesy: Wiki CommonsHologram technology is going even more sci-fi, in this report from the Boston Business Journal:

It may sound like something from “Star Wars,” but Waltham-based defense contractor Raytheon Co. is developing hologram technology that could change how wars are fought.

In a patent application published last week for “digital infrared holograms,” Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) said its technology could be used to generate “dynamic scenes for purposes of simulations or tutorials, such as training exercises for military personnel.”

But the technology could also be used in other ways, such as creating hologram decoy versions of tanks, for example, which “may cause the enemy to be reluctant to fire-on or attack as a result of a strong showing of force, or if the enemy does attack, may cause the enemy to fire-on the decoy tanks initially, thereby providing military personnel additional time to prepare to engage the enemy.”

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