A bendable-not-breakable mobile device would have on-farm value.
Santa uses auto-steer and so should you, quips Joe Robertson, marketing manager with Topcon Precision Agriculture. All kidding aside, the Christmas season is an excellent time to figure out what you want to upgrade for 2013.
"Christmas is a great time for farmers to explore new opportunities and determine which technologies might be a fit for their upcoming needs," says Matt Hesse, North American sales manager for Trimble’s agriculture division.
Here are a few technology trends that broke in 2012, along with prototype technologies in the pipeline that could be useful tools on the farm.
First, touch screens are the way of the future. That’s one reason tablets and smartphones are replacing home computers. Touch-screen technology is more intuitive and easier to use.
Many precision ag companies offer in-cab touch-screen units. Farmers who own a tablet might want to invest in a windshield mount so their device has a secure place in the cab.
Keep an eye on Nokia and Samsung this holiday season. Both companies have hinted at releasing a smartphone with a flexible screen.
Looking for a stocking stuffer? Try a simple SD (secure digital) card, says Chris Fennig, managing director of MyFarms—especially if you aren’t already using one to capture the data from your yield monitor.
"Farmers who already own yield monitors can capture the value of their yield data by spending $30 on a SD card," he says. "Farming families, like my own, share data with accountants and insurance agents, and now it’s time to partner with agronomists and seed companies in the same way."
Finally, Siri on the iPhone 4S has led the charge in voice command technology. This year, other companies joined in. Can voice command features in the tractor cab be far behind? Precision ag companies aren’t showing their cards yet, but it’s in development.
Whatever is on your wish list, we wish you a high-tech holiday.
Six Tablet Shopping Tips
The tablet computer is a worthy implement on the farm. Before you make a purchase, consider these tips from Consumer Reports magazine:
- December 2012