E-Technology and “Jetson” technology are coming quickly to the Ag industry. People are predicting Amazon to be the first two trillion-dollar company. Farmer Business Network held a Cyber Monday event, put a chemical on the market, and had 4,000 customers purchase it. Who thinks about buying Ag products at this time of year; and online?
It is expected that within three years, 25% of Ag business will happen online. If you can have perishable grocery items ordered via a smart device and delivered to your door, why wouldn’t there be the same expectation for many of the products we handle today? I believe many customers will spend a significant amount of time with their trusted retail partner, and when they make up their mind they will purchase through e-commerce. Today’s business is too tight and tough to ignore 25% of a potential customer base. E-commerce capabilities are a necessity going forward.
Ever hear of HoloLens? These virtual reality glasses do more than play video games. They are used by the military, medical industry, certain equipment manufacturers, and dealers. Equipment dealers are using them to fix mechanical issues as in the example below.
With the glasses on you give commands like:
• Show me a picture of the Rogator.
• Show me where the electrical splice is that controls auto-steer.
• The glasses zoom in and out at your command.
• They also supply step by step instructions, including the tools required for the repair.
Medically, doctors are using the glasses to prepare for surgery. A doctor doing a knee replacement can be shown where to cut, how deep, and at what angle. If it weren’t for lawsuits, I could do knee replacement surgery with the glasses on. The Ag industry has started using some of this technology. Within 5 years it will be on a much larger scale and will dramatically change the way Ag business is conducted.
Both types of technology are extremely expensive. The key will be figuring out how retailers can plug into this technology.