The Quantified Self movement has made headlines and grabbed press attention in recent years, ever since people started bedecking themselves with what we now call wearables, but the idea of measuring human performance and the human condition started long before wearable sensors themselves.

It may have started as long ago as Plato: “The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

Still true, that.

But in these days of Big Data, we might also say “The power of a man is what he does with measures.”

It is not enough for us to merely measure and collect reams of data; we must also take action.

Imagine a world where farmers make decisions based on data collected from sensors directly measuring the environmental factors to which farm crops, for example, tomatoes, are constantly responding.

That’s the world of the Quantified Tomato. And it is being brought to you courtesy of Analog Devices, and their Internet of Tomatoes program.

ADI LogoWe ran into our friends at ADI during Internet of Things World 2016 not so long ago in Santa Clara, CA, and then again at Sensors Expo 2016 in San Jose and, in between, at the MEPTEC MEMS Symposium, where Rob O’Reilly, Senior Technologist, Automation, Energy and Sensors Group, Analog Devices, Inc. gave the opening keynote talk on “You Say Tomatoes, I Say Sensors.”

We covered Ag Tech in an earlier piece, and it bears repeating that we’re going to need to marshal our best efforts to feed the world of 2050 by investing in the AgTech of now.

There is nothing quite like the taste of a good tomato. But you don’t seem to get them much anymore, or not get them often enough.

In addition to improving taste, Ag Tech, aka Smart Agriculture, as ADI puts it in “Better Tomatoes. A Better Tomorrow,” “… can positively impact the planet in immeasurable ways: improving yields of crops of all kinds, decreasing dependence on pesticides, reducing operational costs, optimizing water usage, and ensuring better land management and crop rotation.  Analog Devices’ ability to deliver complete sensing solutions to customers – from small New England farms to growers in the developing world – means extending the value and possibilities of IoT in truly transformative ways.  In short, the more sensory information we are able to extract, analyze and share from our world, the more we will be able to feed our world.”

tsensorsThat’s one of the Four Horsemen of TSensors: “The TSensors Vision is a transformational movement in the global technology world. The concept is to take the Internet of Things (IoT) and then apply the emerging technology to tackle four central global problems: world hunger, pollution/air and water, clean energy and health care.”

Doing well by doing good. As HBR Professor Nancy Koehn explains, there is a long history of companies acting in just that way.

HeinzIncluding a certain H.J. Heinz, in Pittsburgh, PA, known best for their flagship product … tomato ketchup.

From Santa Clara, CA, thanks for reading. ~PFW



Paul Werbaneth

Paul Werbaneth is a long-time Contributing Editor at 3D InCites. Since entering the semiconductor industry…

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