DroneDeploy's App Market Amplifies AgTech's Potential

December 2, 2016 09:04 AM

Nicholas Pilkington and his colleagues at DroneDeploy found themselves faced with a dilemma. The company builds drone 2-D maps and 3-D models, and it wanted to take what it claims is the world’s largest drone imagery dataset much further.

“If we tried to develop individual apps, we’d never be able to build everything for everyone,” Pilkington, DroneDeploy’s co-founder, says.

The company’s response to this challenge? Build an App Market and offer third-party developers access to its data, including agriculture industry companies such as John Deere, AgriSens and Aglytix. The hope is to create a one-stop shop where users can get better accessibility and productivity from their drone imagery.

“It’s about adding functionality," Pilkington says. “We want to see the ecosystem grow and attract new developers. Until now, DroneDeploy has focused primarily on solving core challenges in the drone space around flight, data collection, processing and analysis. Now, we are opening up our stack so that developers can use these technologies themselves, and can focus on building specific solutions within their domain expertise without having to reinvent the wheel.”

AgriSens user and drone service provider Scott Gregory shares how the App Market is making his job easier for his customers who grow canning tomatoes through the ability to make accurate high-tech stand counts.

"Better prices for canning tomatoes are typically contracted early in the growing season, and negotiation requires the grower to be confident in their yield estimate,” he says. “Stand count reports make it easy for growers to estimate their total anticipated yield, and can therefore help them get the most favorable price for their harvest. “

Pilkington says the time was right to have something like the App Market available to the agriculture industry.

“Cross-pollinating ideas is huge,” he says. “We also want to see some of these great apps have a chance to scale up.”

For more information, visit www.dronedeploy.com/agriculture.html

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