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Making a Change in the Agriculture Industry: Utilizing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Every company has asked the question “how can we train workers optimally?”. In the agricultural sector, employees who work on farms require complex training to avoid malfunction or injuries. This can lead to bills higher than initially expected. How can we fix this?

Companies in the agricultural industry can implement visual training such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality as a solution. Training using these tools is cheaper, more effective, and leads to better long-term outcomes.

What is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality?

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can connect the digital to the real world in many ways that were not possible years ago. Many companies like Google optimize such tools to help ease the experience of anyone during any situation. VR specifically utilizes lenses between a screen and your eyes in order to create an image that seems lifelike. These lenses can be placed in devices that look like special glasses. Using VR, you can be in any place and time, as if you were actually there.

AR is usually optimized using a camera-equipped device which helps to identify the objects the camera picks up. Beyond that, it can pick up aspects of the objects such as temperature, parts, and any other information tied to the object.

How Does it Work in Agriculture?

The first step it can help is in terms of the training of workers. Before going out on field, employees can watch training videos and execute specific scenarios using VR to fully understand how it will be when they are on field. Each task should be completed with a minimum score to pass and employees will be ready when finishing all tasks. Such training is helpful in training familiarity, muscle memory, and helps with efficiency.

After training is done, AR can help employees ease the work on field. Devices such as smartphones can help with understanding information of what is happening on the worksite. Sensors can be places in the ground which would then transmit the information to the camera. For example, if an employee can scan over a plant to see thermal information, health of plant, fertilizer needs, etc.

VR and AR can also help in terms of reducing costs. With the sensors that are implemented on field, employees have much more information about the progress of each crop and even the soil beforehand. With this data, they can make more careful and thorough decisions which companies without VR and AR cannot do. Even if there was a mishap in the process, these tools can help any company detect the causing factor which helps to minimize such errors in the future.

The Implementation of VR and AR and Their Future

VR and AR are relatively new for the agricultural industry. These tools were first introduced in the industries such as gaming and medicine, but it was unfamiliar for farmers for a long time. Farm owners usually did not understand the benefit and market of VR and AR, considering how new this innovation is. However, there have been many projects that use these tools in this industry.

For example, FarmVR has given access to the Government of South Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) access to virtual farm tours in order to learn benefits of these technologies and also how employees can integrate them into their workspace.

The Isabel project has also reached two continents where VR and AR was used to train staff and automate the process of the farm work. It works as a mobile application, which is able to manage a large field. The app helps to train the employees, completely automating the work in the farm. When the project was brought to Peru,it became an application that fully controls the greenhouses there with features such as timings, video tutorials, automated fertilization and watering.

The development of artificial intelligence tools is big in many countries and have much potential for the future. According to PwC, VR and AR have the potential to deliver a £1.4 trillion boost to the global economy by 2030. However, Indonesia’s presence in this field, especially in the agriculture industry, is still very minimal. Many farmers in Indonesia are still unaware of the huge profit these tools can bring which needs to change. Companies in this industry need not to be fearful of such innovations but should jump into the pool of possibilities.

As always, Kitameraki can help your company to implement technological solutions for your problems! Feel free to contact Kitameraki for our services.

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