The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are 30 of the top movers, shakers and innovators involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies poised to have a significant impact on business and society.
The past recipient list is a mile long and full of industry disrupters and business leaders, including AirBnB, Google, Twitter, Mozilla Corp, and many other familiar names. We are honored to make the list for 2016 as we work to rapidly integrate drone technology into existing systems and industries around the world.
The Technology Pioneers were selected by a jury of 68 academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate executives. The committee based its decisions on criteria including innovation, potential impact, working prototype, viability and leadership.
Over the next two years, PrecisionHawk will be participating in The World Economic Forum activities with the objective to identify and address future-oriented issues on the global agenda in proactive, innovative, and entrepreneurial ways. These activities bring together executives that include scientists, academics, NGOs, leaders of business and governments, to shed new light on how technologies may be used to address major global challenges. PrecisionHawk, which provides a drone and aerial data analytics platform, was selected for its contributions to increasing efficiency and accessibility around agriculture and food security.
When PrecisionHawk thinks about drones in agriculture, we think about drones lending a new perspective. They provide a greater level of visibility that improves the way a farmer manages his/her fields. That extra visibility can create an insight that helps a farmer be more efficient and more productive. PrecisionHawk’s whole purpose of being in the drone space is to do that: create that efficiency and productivity.
In agriculture, it is all about understanding two things -- 1) the change that is happening in your field and 2) identification of anything that is different or an anomaly. With that extra level of visibility a drone provides, the farmer is able to understand what is happening to his/her assets more precisely.
Effective management means simplicity, accessibility and fitting into existing workflows. Those are consistent themes no matter the industry.
Timeliness is very important contribution to agriculture, which is where we can leverage the power of other technologies, an example being the cloud, which has tremendous processing capabilities. The drone is collecting a large amount of data, so being able to process that quickly and understanding the insight quickly is very important. A farmer may fly in the morning to understand what is going on and then take an action in the afternoon. Digitizing that insight and making it accessible to the farmer and making it fit into their workflow, whether that is on their phone, iPad or farm management system is critical. That integration effort is something we spend a lot of time focusing on at PrecisionHawk, to make that process as seamless as possible.
Farming is becoming more productive in large part because farm machinery is becoming more intelligent. Our goal is to compliment these existing workflows (i.e., self driving tractors and combines) by building the tools that integrate with intelligent farm equipment. The result is a single step for the farmer, from the drone flight to the next farm management action. The farmer doesn't want images from a drone. They want a data stream coming from a number of different sources that results in accurate information to make very timely and important decisions (replanting, resource application, disease, harvest).
Automated, flying robots may sound like science fiction, but they are simply a dramatically lower cost way to collect data and measure changes on land and property more consistently and reliably than has ever been possible before.
This means we can monitor changes in our environment for the purpose of reducing the use of pesticides or improving the yield of our farms, and enable mankind to use the limited resources of our planet ever more responsibly.