Tech Tuesday

Powering Up a Farm Wi-Fi System

We catch up on what one company has been doing with a system that can bring enhanced Web tools to the farm.

From time to time covering tech, we come across a product or idea that we find makes a difference in how you engage technology. Having a high-speed connection to the Web on the farm is just a start and one company has worked to expand on that link to create new ways to use the Internet on your farm.

Ayrstone Productivity has been marketing its high-end wi-fi system to the farm for more than a year and now the company is adding tools to enhance its initial product. To recap, the Ayrstone system starts with the AyrMesh Router that you hook up to your broadband Internet connection, then the company's high-end antenna will keep you connected to the web over wi-fi for up to a half-mile.

We interviewed Bill Moffitt, president of Ayrstone, last year for our Farming 2020 series, and he told us about the system. Turns out in the past year the company hasn't been standing still. Once you have a working, high-powered wi-fi system on your farm there's more you can do. A hot product the company now offers is its AyrScout WiFi Cameras. When mated to the AyrMesh Hub you can have eyes just about anywhere on the farm, and access that image from anywhere in the world.

There are two types of cameras available - indoors and outdoors. The Indoor camera has pan and tilt capability that allows you to control what the camera sees from the comfort of your office (or over the Web just about anywhere). The outdoor camera is stationary, and can give you a view of a specific area with access to the image from just about anywhere.

The key to either of these cameras is that you can access their signal over the Web using any browser - which means you can see what the camera sees from your smartphone. Adding extra hubs allows you to expand the reach of your Web signal up to 6 miles too, providing the wi-fi connection that camera needs and allowing you to relay an image from several miles away. This is a great security tool for livestock facilities, or in other locations where you might want some eyes on a product or process.

In a press release from Ayrstone, the company points to beef producers who use the cameras on maternity pens which allow for a quick check on cattle any time of day or night without the need to go to the pen until you're needed. And if you're maximizing that wi-fi connection to your office data, you can have access to your data when you are in that maternity pen - looking at cattle records right from your smartphone over that same network.

These are not simply daytime cameras, both feature infrared LED lighting providing night vision capability and can be powered by any standard electrical outlet. And the company says configuring the cameras is simple, all you do is get the camera to recognize a nearby hub and you're ready to roll.

And this is a popular product. Recently, the Ayrstone Outdoor Camera was a No. 1 Hot Release on Amazon.com. You can check that out here, note it's No. 6 on that list.

Once you get a broadband connection on your farm you want to maximize it. That high-tech pipeline to the Web should be available beyond the office or farm house. The AyrMesh technology is one way to take that investment and expand it will beyond your initial connection. You can learn more about the tech at www.ayrstone.com.

Got a new tech you're using on your farm that other readers should know about? Drop me a note and we'll talk. As fast-moving tech is combined with the innovative minds of farmers I'm sure there are new ways to use these tools that even the creator never thought of, it would be great to share those ideas here.

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