The connected cow business is about to jump over the moo-n

california limits cow farts fujitsu cows 1000x666
Connected cows are already a thing, but recently the intersection of barnyards and bits has been breeding a whole herd of applications. The current $1.27 billion “Connected Cow and Farm” business is slated to grow eight-fold to $10.75 billion by 2021, says research firm Arclusteras reported in The Register.

Arun Nirmal is Arcluster’s research director. Nirmal says cows are going to be the greatest factor in the coming connected farming boom. “The intersection of highly sophisticated automation and M2M [machine to machine] technologies combined with the application of industrial internet of things in this space is set to disrupt the industry over the next decade.”

Connected cow applications include automated milking and feeding, health monitoring, herd management, comfort and cleaning, and mating management.

Let’s go through that list. As The Register points out, milking and feeding are already automated in most developed countries. Health management with bovine wearables to monitor vital signs just involves larger wristbands.

Herd management used to be done with cowbells, but GPS locator chips on collars or ear tags can handle it on the connected farm. (Perhaps there will be a side business supplying excess cowbells to garage bands.)

Comfort and cleaning as a category brings up images of shovels and hoses, for anyone who has ever lived or worked on a farm, but in time there may be robots to handle those chores.

Mating management is where the topic gets interesting. Fujitsu has already developed a wearable and an app for that. According to The Register, cows “commence oestrus at night and a day or two beforehand become rather more mobile.” So tracking bovine friskiness will be the key to lining up pasture booty calls more efficiently.

As explained by The Register, when the data is right “farmers know when it’s time to get some sperm out of the deep freeze and open that big new packet of rubber gloves.”

Microsoft has separately been involved in a project that monitors amorous bovine behavior. We’re not going to milk this story beyond mentioning that, in order for cows to be optimal milk producers, they have to be in a continuous cycle of pregnancy and calving. The internet of cows will help with this, keeping cows healthy and ensuring that the milk keeps flowing.

Emerging Tech

Whose name should we etch on the Mars 2020 rover? NASA wants a vote

Dream of making it to Mars? NASA has opened up a new public outreach program to let people send their names to the Red Planet, as an engraving on a silicon chip launched with the Mars 2020 rover.
Mobile

Learn to maintain your smartphone battery and maximize your phone's battery life

Our smartphones are an integral part of everyday life, but to keep them functioning at their best for the long haul, it's critical to preserve battery life. Here are some easy steps you can take every day to boost your phone's battery life.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater, from Gravity to Logan

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Gaming

From platforms to games, here's how Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce size up

Google Stadia will have some stiff competition in Microsoft's Project xCloud, but that isn't the only game streaming service. We compared Google Stadia vs. Nvidia GeForce Now to see the differences and features.
Emerging Tech

Watch live as SpaceX tries, for the third time, to launch 60 Starlink satellites

SpaceX is having another go at launching the first 60 satellites for its ultra-ambitious Starlink internet constellation. Here's how you can tune in live to watch it all go down today.
Emerging Tech

What would it take to build a Matrix-level simulation of reality?

What would it take, technologically speaking, to build a real version of the Matrix? We definitely don't have the technical abilities to do that now, but we're rapidly approaching the point that we will. In this article, MIT computer…
Emerging Tech

SpaceX joins internet-from-space race with launch of 60 Starlink satellites

SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying its first batch of Starlink satellites for its ambitious internet-from-space project. The payload, SpaceX's heaviest to date, successfully deployed an hour after liftoff.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Emerging Tech

This plane-pulling robo-dog makes Boston Dynamics’ Spot look scrawny

A robot dog created by researchers at Italy’s Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia showed off its impressive ability to pull a three-ton airplane down a runway. Check it out in action.
Emerging Tech

Scientists discover unexpected underwater volcano off the coast of Africa

Geologists first noticed something unusual in the Indian Ocean in November last year, when they detected a massive seismic event. Now further research has revealed that the source of the seismic activity is an enormous underwater volcano.
Emerging Tech

Jupiter’s vast magnetic field stretches over time, driven by atmospheric wind

Jupiter has the most powerful magnetic field in our Solar System, 18,000 times as strong as Earth's. Now scientists have discovered that the field changes over time, in an effect called secular variation.
Emerging Tech

Three rare exocomets spotted in orbit around a nearby star

Scientists have spotted three exocomets, or comets outside of our Solar System, in orbit around a bright young star called Beta Pictoris in the constellation of Pictor using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS).
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Tricked-out e-scooters and bike lights that lock

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!