Lead by Cisco, the 5G Rural First project has a diverse range of experience and aims to create end-to-end 5G test beds in rural locations, focusing on industries such as agriculture, broadcasting and utilities. This will help to ensure the future accessibility and affordability of 5G in areas which may previously have suffered with poor internet connectivity.
A variety of 5G use cases will be explored during the project, including several smart farming applications. Smart farming is the concept of measuring and analysing data produced on farms then using this to improve decision making and ensure farm management and operations are more efficient. In turn, this can improve productivity, as well as reducing environmental impacts and ensuring higher food quality.
The IEEE 5G summit provided a platform for attendees from industry, academia, and government to collaborate and exchange ideas in this emerging technology. The objective of the event was to educate various communities to support the evolution of standards and systems leading to the rapid deployment of new technologies and potentially new business models for 5G.
At the summit, the 5G smart farming use case put forward by Milkalyser was explored. Milkalyser’s aim is to use 5G for remote health diagnosis, providing near-real-time animal side health information to vets and technicians. This will include basic information such as the animal’s age and breed, but also the health records and video content relevant to the current treatment. Tying in with Milkalyser, information regarding reproductive status will also be provided. If the animal has an eCow bolus, reticulum pH and temperature data can also be displayed.
Various possible methods of visualising this data will be explored, including the use of augmented reality (AR) and smart posts. A vet technician wearing a AR headset could look at a cow and be given a visualisation of the cow’s health status alongside videos of possible treatments.
Alternatively, a Smart Post could be used. Using voice recognition software, Smart Post could respond to questions and talk back to the user with information about the animal’s health.
The 5G RuralFirst project aims to bring connectivity to rural communities, enabling smart farming in partnership with Agri-Epi Centre; researching innovative methods of delivering broadcast radio over 5G; as well as the delivery of 5G connectivity for IoT in utility and other industries in rural areas. Read more on the project here.
In terms of livestock health, 5G will be a crucial tool in driving the development of innovative technologies. This exciting project is one we can’t wait to get started on.