Growing healthy crops digitally
Can we help create a multi-sensor and parameter ecosystem that allows farmers to grow healthy crops, using only one platform for monitoring?
Sentron is a high-end technical innovator, known for developing innovative scalable solutions for different vertical markets, such as the agriculture industry. Imagine a large-scale farmer with thousands of acres of land, growing many different crops. Obviously, the condition of its soil will vary from place to place.
Moreover, the farmer will need specific insights from many parts of the land to oversee the condition of all crops properly. To do so, the farmer currently can use various single parameter systems that allow him to continually measure the condition of the soil - i.e. for the level of PH or sodium. As a consequence, this farmer is forced to install multiple solutions with a different logic and user experiences. Imagine what this means for connected hardware, efficiency and training of staff. From client & user research, Sentron learned that one single multi-parameter and sensor platform would definitely be an improvement for growing crops and business.
After understanding the market, potential clients and users, we designed a system architecture, based on a set of mandatory guidelines:
- parameter agnostic
- cloud native
- hybrid app
- single code base
- bluetooth low energy
- interchangeable probe
- to be solar powered
Prototyping the business case
Although the market demand is a no-brainer, we do need to learn how fast the market will be able to grow. We need this insight to narrow down the business case and understand what level of investment is required and justified. Therefore we strategically have chosen to start developing a viable prototype, enabling us to test, learn and improve, before scaling up the budget and platform.
The team is a fusion of experts from three sides - New Story, Consulting Developer Rick Groenewegen and Sentron. Together we implemented an agile structure that permitted us to get all user stories done with a lean team, on time and within budget. In two two-week sprints, the prototype was delivered, allowing the live testing phase to begin.
Driving business with big data
The Sentron angle to this project is to develop and maintain an ultra-userfriendly platform that convinces growers to buy their probes. Initially, the company's target and the market audience will be IT resellers in designated markets, this to speed-up distribution and scale-up support. Yet another business opportunity surfaces with the development of the platform. As more large-scale farmers will be connected, eventually zillions of data points will be retrieved and contained in a scalable AWS Timestream / InfluxDB 'data lake'. By enabling clients to use and crunch data points they can create new insights and intelligence, allowing them to drive performance.
The app is ready for distribution, allowing us to connect testing partners and create broader awareness with a virtual demo within the app. Specmeters.com will be the launching customer that will help us obtain the learnings we need to refine and optimize the platform and integrated services.
Check out some of our cases that prove our story, or go to the overview page.