February 21, 2024

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Smart Tags Revolutionise New Zealand Cattle Industry

At the top of New Zealand’s exported goods sits farming. Specifically, dairy, beef and sheep farming are the biggest contributors to the country’s revenues. Thus, the smart tag invented by two Massey University Engineering PhD students and future entrepreneurs, Tyrel Glass and Baden Parr, is game-changing technology for the agricultural industry.

Seeing how useful the tech is in tracking cow’s health remotely, their agri-tech start-up has now raised NZ$ 1 million from investors to fast-track the development of their smart ear tag sensors. The newly raised funds will be used to accelerate the company’s product development and validation in preparation for large scale trials planned for later this year. To date, several expressions of interest have been generated from farmers in Waikato and the South Island.

While their fledgling enterprise has its immediate sights on the New Zealand market, where a farmer’s average dairy herd is 440 cows, other agriculture-heavy countries are in the offing as well. For one, Ireland and Brazil have been identified as future markets.

The smart device can transmit crucial health and location data to dairy farmers within seconds. The small internet-enabled device clips onto a cow’s ear, allowing farmers to continuously monitor the animal’s health, grazing and breeding habits even from afar.

At the centre of it all, of course, is ICT. For one, machine learning is used to process data from the device’s temperature, movement, and location sensors. As a result, this helps farmers map animal behavioural patterns and detect the early onset of illnesses in real-time.

What makes it even more useful is the device’s weight. The company’s small, lightweight device is 100 times more power-efficient than traditional GPS-based devices using bulkier battery packs.

We see a future where every farmer has detailed information on the health and wellbeing of every animal. The power of remote sensing in animal health is huge and Protag is the gateway into this data, providing advanced analytics for each animal that can map the whole story of the cow, and at an accessible price point for all farmers.

Tyrel Glass, Smart Tag Co-inventor, Massey University 

Fellow student inventor Baden Parr adds, “Mastitis, lameness (leg and foot pain), and reproduction issues are the main ailments dairy cattle face. By detecting these early, our smart tag paves the way for more sustainable farming and improved animal welfare.”

Associate Professor in Computer Engineering and PhD supervisor of Tyrel and Baden, Fakhrul Alam, said that the two students have created potentially game-changing technology for the agri-tech industry. Their engineering smarts, combining cutting-edge remote sensing technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), have brought crucial insights to dairy farmers.

Of course, New Zealand’s economy is based mainly on its export of agricultural commodities (e.g., dairy products, meat, forest products, fruit and vegetables, wine). Dairy is still the lead export commodity. By utilising ICT to the fullest, its export prospects get brighter.

With innovation like this, the future is bright for New Zealand’s digital transformation. Emerging technologies in ICT are enablers that can be deployed for highly impactful outcomes. An example of technology in action is the country’s digital invoicing initiative which should make payments easier for everyone.

Another great aspect is the rising government support. Wellington is not just creating infrastructure and conducive legislation to the country’s digital journey but has put invested significantly to grow the digital economy. Officially titled the “We See Tomorrow First” campaign, its global initiative is a collaboration between the industry and the government. By putting the focus on its tech capabilities to the world, the nation hopes to attract both talent and investment from overseas.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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