Author: Christine Horton

Christine writes about technology’s impact on business, and is a long-term contributor to specialist IT titles including Channel Pro and Microscope. She also writes for Raconteur and is regularly featured in The Times and Sunday Times.

Firms urge industry players to collaborate on farm and field data IBM is urging the food and agriculture industry to work together to improve collaboration around farm and field data. Joining with Yara International, a specialist in crop nutrition and digital farming solutions, IBM is launching The Open Farm & Field Data Exchange, which aims to encourage farming associations, food and agriculture industry players, academia and NGOs to share their data. The company says sharing data allows farmers to receive higher value services, and they can be paid in return for sharing their data. It could also potentially make it easier…

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REBO smart water bottle uses blockchain to fund marine plastic waste collection A smart water bottle that claims to clean the planet as you drink has been launched on crowd funding platform Indiegogo. Manufacturer REBO says unlike other bottles that provide a one-off sum on sales of the bottle to environmental charities, its built-in technology means that every sip “creates credits”, resulting in plastic collection and job creation in developing countries. “REBO enables people to make real change on an individual basis by bringing together people’s passion for the planet and advanced product technology” says Pier Andrea Quatra, REBO’s founder. “We…

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Plant-powered electricity could hold key to bringing energy to poorer communities Plant power may be key to providing energy to poorer communities with the world’s first plant-powered sensor transmitting to a satellite in space. The pilot Internet of Things (IoT) service, using plants as its energy source, can transmit messages about air humidity, soil moisture, temperature, cell voltage and electrode potential straight to the satellite. This can then potentially be used for data gathering from agricultural land, rice fields or other aquatic environments without the need for any external energy sources. The sensor doesn’t need batteries and will operate independent…

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After partnering with Germany’s urban farming platform Infarm inside its Clapham Junction store earlier this year, M&S has now rolled out indoor farms to additional stores in Kensington, Stratford City, Bromley, Ealing Broadway, Marble Arch and Kings Road. The indoor vertical farming units deliver a range of fresh produce both grown AND harvested inside a store. Infarm says its vertical farming units use IoT (Internet of Things) technologies and machine learning, to deliver a controlled ecosystem with the optimum amount of light, air and nutrients. Each unit is remotely controlled using a cloud-based platform, which learns, adjusts and continuously improves…

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An international team of scientists is working on developing a ‘virtual tongue’ that can predict the taste of food products. Combining Agrifood Sciences and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the project aims to create a virtual tongue by means of an integrated computational framework, which can detect foods for natural ligands aimed at taste receptors. “The idea is to design a taste predictor that can be applied to European food products, which is undoubtedly something that will boost the European food market and expand worldwide,” says lead researcher on the project, Vanessa M. Martos Núñez, of the University of Granada’s Department of…

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