Partnership Brings IoT, Drones and Advanced Connectivity to Farming

“Agricultural innovation is critical to feeding the world’s growing population while reducing the environmental impact of farming. Technology powering this innovation is becoming increasingly important to Microsoft and our customers across retail, grocery, and food industries around the globe,” said Dinesh Narayanan, Director of Device Incubation at Microsoft in a press release. “We’re proud to be partnering with SlantRange on the integration of Azure IoT Edge with their leading sensor and analytics solution, allowing them to provide valuable data and insights at the scale required by the biggest agri­businesses in the world.”

SlantRange has patented foundational technologies for aerial crop inspections and introduced innovative new analytical methods that deliver valuable agronomic data within minutes of collection, anywhere in the world, using low­power edge­computing devices.

Microsoft’s Azure IoT Edge is a fully managed service that delivers cloud intelligence locally by deploying and running artificial intelligence (AI), Azure services, and custom logic directly on cross­platform IoT devices. SlantRange’s current products provide a uniquely powerful solution in that the data analytics are conducted completely offline, without the need for an internet connection.

Through the addition of Azure IoT Edge, the new platform will provide a secure, scalable, and fully integrated solution to deploy new cloud computing capabilities on top of SlantRange’s existing edge­computing architecture. Their edge­based solutions can now be complimented by powerful cloud­based services to seamlessly ingest, manage, and analyze data from large networks of distributed sensors. Custom analytics as well as automated machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms can be deployed both in the cloud and at the edge to create new data insights for a variety of stakeholders within an agriculture enterprise.

“Azure IoT Edge is a perfect fit for our next generation of sensor and analytics solutions,” said Michael Ritter, CEO of SlantRange in a press release. “This new integration will allow large drone programs to operate at global scales with versatile new tools for data security, highly distributed learning models, and device management. Ultimately, our combined technology will enable the latest advances in remote sensing and data science to be easily deployed anywhere in the world, including the most remote farming areas, while retaining all of the controls, features, and security expected of enterprise IT systems and that will have a profound and positive effect on farm productivity around the world.”