Telemetry: The Next Big Thing

In quick succession this month, I got exposed to a bunch of cool ideas, each relating to the power of telemetry. A fairly simple definition of telemetry is “a computer-based means of monitoring and communicating with remote sites.” The examples I got exposure to involved the use of a combination of hand-held devices and a centralized computer.

My mother went to the hospital for an irregular heartbeat this week, and as you would expect was quickly hooked up to myriad monitors and machines. When the heart doctor arrived, she explained the procedures she would be undergoing, and how she would stay in touch.

“The monitors broadcast a signal I can pick up on my cell phone, so I will know if what we are doing is working,” she said. Amazing! It was also insight into why cell phones are not allowed in hospital rooms …

A couple of weeks ago I talked with Dave Craft, who works at SSI Software, a provider of software to ag retailers. A release coming later in 2008 will include tracking and record keeping using telemetry through cell phones to a central computer. Dispatchers will be able to track movements of machinery in the field and provide turn by turn navigation to rig operators from job to job, among other cool capabilities. And it will be at a price point that is within reach of most retailers.

Last week, I had a conversation with an equipment manufactuer, who I asked about the future of technology and what is the next big thing. Without thinking about it for more than a couple of seconds, he blurted out, Telemetry. I’ll tell you the truth, I think it’s going to take off in ag in the next couple of years.”

Telemetry could be the big buzzword for 2008 … and remember, you heard it here. All the best for a terriffic holiday season!

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