Insight

Cow-to-Man Communications

by Jason Ocker

We talk a lot about the machine-to-machine, the Internet of Things, connected devices, and like concepts, but we don’t always realize just the absolute majesty of what all that really means.

Well, it means this: Cows with chips in their genitals sending SMS messages to farmers to let them know that they’re in heat.

The New York Times spends 20 paragraphs on it. As they should. From the article:

The sensor implanted in the genitals of Fiona or Bella (favorite names for Swiss cows) measures body heat, then transmits the result to a sensor affixed to the cow’s neck that measures body motion. (Cows in heat become restless.) “The results are combined, using algorithms, and if the cow is in heat an SMS is sent to the farmer,” said Claude Brielmann, a computer specialist who helped design the system. The detector on the cow’s neck is equipped with a SIM card so the farmer can pay for the calls.

The future is what it is.

Photo credit: Cameron Adams, Flickr



Jason writes. Tells stories. Develops strategies. He oversees a wide range of creative and technical projects. He’s also an award-winning author of half a dozen books and has been featured on or in CNN, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, The New York Times, and TIME.

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