Nick Genty, CEO, AgEye Technologies sees a bright future for indoor agriculture due, in no small part, to artificial intelligence. So bright, in fact, that his company refocused and rebranded after launching last spring as Smart Spectrum. A developer of software and sensor solutions focused on creating dynamic lighting, Smart Spectrum utilized a wide range of data and technology resources to achieve light recipes that altered the spectrum to the lifecycle of the plant. As they talked to customers though, they soon realized a bigger need that went far beyond this automation to things like disease detection, yield prediction and more. Nick and his team plan to fill that need through AgEye Technologies. While intelligent lighting is still a major focus, the rebranded company is working on developing additional AI-powered sensors that improve the quality, predictability and profitability of agriculture through autonomous systems.
During the May 22-24, 2019 edition of Indoor Ag-Con Las Vegas, Nick will be leading the session, Intelligent Farming: Harnessing the Power of AI and we asked him a couple of questions ahead of his presentation:
1)With respect to indoor farming, where do you see the technologies you’re working on heading in the next 5 years?
We’ve seen the ag industry as a whole to be a slow adopter. Automation is definitely a buzz word overall, but in its infancy when it comes to indoor ag. However, we expect to see big adoption within the next five years. We think some of the things that may sound like science fiction now – the ability to manipulate at the individual plant basis to enhance aromas, taste and shelf life — will soon become the norm. As we see better tasting, healthier crops, and better profit per square foot begin to emerge– adoption will only continue.
2) From Microsoft to Google to Amazon/Amazon Web Services (AWS) – what part of the “eco-system of technologists” do you see AgEYE Technologies working with as it relates to what you’re doing with Indoor Farming?
These players will become increasingly involved as demand grows. Look, for example, at companies like Uber, Netflix, Pinterest and others. Without AWS they couldn’t have existed. I expect the same will be true with indoor ag. The infrastructure that companies like AWS provide will be key in getting new solutions to market in a timely way.
We are big advocates of companies interacting with each other. The old “silo” mentality is gone – interconnectivity is key. I was so happy to see Open AgTech announce the new API standard to facilitate data sharing efforts in the greenhouse and vertical farming industries.
In order to make indoor farming sustainable, all of us — from vendors to growers to technologists – must work together.
For more information on AgEYE Technologies, visit https://ageyetech.com/.
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