everyhing connects to everything

Vick Vandecaveye

Connected Services Industry Relations

Farmers willing to invest in digital technologies often complain about the complexity and effort it requires to make everything work together. In this phase of development of the Internet of Things, manufacturers and software companies have focused on getting the technology and features into their products. The compatibility between products has not received much attention yet. Solutions are often supplier specific, lacking genuine compatibility with competing product offerings.  

I think the development of IoT shows parallels with the development of electricity for home use. In the beginning voltages and AC/DC were specific to each power plant. This meant that electrical appliances could only function in the network of the electricity provider. Every country had its own standards, which, to some extent, is still visible in the variety of wall sockets. Luckily, voltages and phases were standardised quite quickly. With a simple converter, you can now plug your device in every socket in Europe. 

"Data is like electricity. It needs to flow to generate power."

We experience a chicken and egg problem with the standards for IoT. Manufacturers are hesitant to implement those standards, because the software platforms do not support them. And software platforms do not support the standards because no vehicle is speaking universal standard language.  

With our use-case we gathered a critical mass of market players to just make it happen. Soon every agricultural device and software package will speak the Esperanto of agriculture!