Mrinal Wadhwa, CTO at the IoT company, Fybr recently shared with me this interesting use case in farming.
"A plum farm lost $ 2 million dollars in revenue, last year, because the heat affected the crop and truck loads of fruit were rejected by Costco.
Fybr is working with this plum grower to create an early warning system with infrared sensors that continuously monitor the amount of heat that the tree canopy is experiencing. In contrast to weather forecasts, this sensor information is timely, granular, local and actionable. A farm manager may turn on irrigation sprinklers to cool down the field on a particularly hot day. Fybr also retrofitted their irrigation pumps and drip lines for wireless remote control, a step towards automating the sense-and-respond process.
Low cost sensing, remotely controllable equipment and data driven learning algorithms will help farms in the near future protect against the risk of sudden weather events, significantly reduce wasted water and improve crop yields. As the amount of real-time information available about their farm grows, it's impractical for farmers to navigate through apps on a tablet or a phone while they work in their fields. Voice based command and query will be a potent tool for growers to proactively respond to changing conditions.
Older voice technologies, like Apple's Siri, had minimal customization capabilities for enterprises, but the latest with Google's Assistant/Dialogflow/Cloud Speech and Amazon's Alexa/Lex/Polly provide powerful tools for enterprises to quickly build high quality natural language interfaces.
In the below video, Fybr's Alexa integration is able to interpret and identify the correct irrigation pump and opens it successfully. Even a small error rate in this would be unacceptable in business critical applications. The next challenge - improving user identity and authentication around voice technologies."