Wearable Technologies... Are they Farm Ready?
Google Glass, watches, cameras & more
Panel discussion
Kent Shannon (moderator)
Scott Brown, Columbia, MO
Bruce Rasa, Buford, GA
Jim Connelly, Kansas City, MO
January 10, 2015

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(Session notes provided by AgEBB staff with the help of Eugene FFA)

Wearable technologies started off by connecting with Bruce Rasa in Buford, Georgia through the use of Google Hangouts and with the help of Kent Shannon being the moderator. Bruce presented the conference group with information on Google Glass. Google Glass is basically a wearable computer. They are worn like glasses that collect and display information in a smartphone-like hands-free format. Wearers communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands. Bruce mentioned some examples of how they can be used in an agricultural setting, such as while crop scouting fields or plotting data points for GPS systems used in tractors and irrigation equipment. Everything one see's while wearing Google Glass can be viewed by someone else in real-time or saved as data to use later. Bruce also discussed his business TekWear, LLC, which has a patent pending wearable farmer dashboard system which includes smart glasses and other wearable hands free technologies to help farmers and ranchers, and the trusted partners that support them, to work safely and more efficiently. The system encompasses crop scouting for multiple crops in fields, remote animal monitoring, machinery support and a range of essential farming and agribusiness tasks. TekWear, LLC is available at http://www.tekwearag.com/.

Next, Scott Brown discussed the use of his tech watch with the conference attendees. This specific watch was an Android-developed watch. The watch is capable of performing the same tasks as a cell phone and is synced with it as well. For example, it has voice activated commands that allow the individual wearing the watch to make calls, send text messages, or emails. The watch can also receive any incoming calls, texts, or emails, etc.. The main purpose of the watch is to be able to have your hands-free for other work, so multi-tasking. Additionally, this watch also has the ability to track your fitness. Scott did mention that even though this watch is waterproof, he does not wear it while working on the farm, just because of the activities to do while farming, he doesn't want to test its durability. Scott did say that it has been great in his needs during business settings.

The final presenter for wearable technology was Jim Connelly. Jim Connelly is the Commander in Chief for the entire Metropolitan-area of Kansas City. He discussed all of the technology available inside of the police cruisers. For example, whenever an officer turns on his car lights and sirens a car dash camera is activated. Video systems are of course used inside the jail and prison systems as well. Another main topic in Jim's presentation was the recent interest in the need for all police officers to have body cameras. He said that although the need is definitely there, the legalities are something that is going to have to be reviewed for years to come, along with, the funding of having such body cameras in every police department.

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