Sony is taking its expertise in sensing and processing technology and applying it to the agriculture business with the introduction of its Smart Agriculture Solution. The new solution allows for daily crop management and monitoring through the capture, collection, and analyzation of data in the field. It enables in-the-field operation without a network connection, unlike conventional networked methods.
These additional insights will offer growers the ability to easily oversee and manage the progress of their crops, allowing them to observe the growth and health, and make decisions and take actions on the spot to increase productivity and efficiency, thereby saving time and reducing costs.
Sony’s new Smart Agriculture Solution employs sensor fusion and fast stitching technology, consisting of a newly developed drone-mounted multispectral sensing unit and Fast Field Analyzer image analysis software. The multispectral sensing unit carries a dual sensor camera unit and an accurate geolocation sensing unit. It can be mounted on a drone to capture normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and RGB imagery in a single flight.
During a flight, this sensing unit obtains highly accurate geolocation, altitude and posture information leveraged by Sony’s unique algorithm and real-time processor, while synching up geo data with every photo it captures. This allows users to generate maps with Fast Field Analyzer by stitching captured data using only geolocation data. It requires less overlapped images, and consequently, it increases a single flight’s efficiency with a wider coverage area, enabling drones to gather 300-400 images covering a maximum range of 160 acres. All the processes are conducted in a completely offline environment that does not use time consuming cloud processing so that users can take immediate action in the field with accurate analysis results.
“This offering furthers our ability to provide meaningful, implementable information to growers,” says Dan Burdett, global head of digital agriculture, Syngenta. “During this exciting and active time in digital agriculture, we remain focused on delivering value to growers by providing tools that will help them be successful. We are pleased to be working with Sony, a global technology leader that shares our commitment to innovation, cross-industry collaboration and sustainability.”
The new Smart Agriculture Solution is planned to be available in spring 2019 in the U.S. and Canada.