‘Wearable Technology’ Could Reshape Farm Decisions

Google Glass shows promise for hands-free crop scouting, machinery maintenance and training farm employees, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all platform — at least for now.

Recording and evaluating plant health is nothing new for Riekhof, but he recently tested a unique technology that could change the way he does it in the future He’s one of a small number of farmers who have tried the experimental Google Glass technology — a futuristic pair of safety goggles with a built-in computer — that lets users snap photos, shoot video and e-mail or text information with a simple set of voice commands. “I can easily see myself walking down a corn row doing a live chat with my agronomist, where he is seeing what I am from my point of view,” Riekhof says. “He might ask me to get a closer look at a plant to help diagnose a problem faster, without me having to pay for him to physically come out to the field.” Hands-Free Tool. Riekhof was introduced to the new technology by Higginsville native Bruce Rasa, who last year was chosen by Google to participate in its “Explorer” program to test Google Glass’ application in agriculture. Rasa grew up on his family’s 3,500-acre no-till farm in Missouri and has spent more than 2 decades in product marketing and development with companies, including IBM and AGCO. He recently launched his own company, TekWear, based in Buford, Ga., to develop apps for Google Glass. During the last several months, Rasa has demonstrated the potential of the ‘wearable technology’ to dozens of farmers. “The ability to take a hands-free photo of a plant in the field from…
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Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka is the Technology Editor for No-Till Farmer. He covers precision farming practices, products and trends, which can improve efficiency and productivity for no-till farmers.

He joined Lessiter Publications Ag Division in 2012 and also serves as managing editor of Strip-Till Farmer.

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