Rural connectivity and new technologies focus of MobileTECH 2016

The fourth MobileTECH conference on mobile technologies for New Zealand’s primary industries will bring together, under one roof, the technology leaders from right across New Zealand’s agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors. This independent technology event showcases the very latest in productivity tools for the rural sector.
MobileTECH 2016 will be held in Rotorua, New Zealand on 30-31 March 2016.

Innovative new technologies are emerging every day. It’s critical that the rural sector capitalises on these opportunities to ensure that they remain internationally competitive. Whether it’s UAVs counting sheep, automated milking systems, robotic tractors for precision farming or automated spraying or irrigation systems, connectivity is the key to making it happen in rural locations. This is the major theme of the MobileTECH this year.

The Government’s $2 billion investment in broadband coverage aims to boost Internet connectivity to around 98% of New Zealanders. The plan is to strengthen and extend the country’s rural-based network infrastructure to assist with productivity gains for the sector. Even with this commitment, it will not be a silver bullet. Rural operators will still need to integrate additional tools and technologies to ensure coverage of critical systems on their properties and in their region.

A key benefit of greater rural connectivity is in the ability to collect and analyse real-time data. Remote sensors in the soil have been enabling precision agriculture for decades, however new disruptive technologies are now providing a flood of useful information that is revolutionising the industry.

Farmers place electronic tags on their animals, forestry companies scan every tree as it is harvested and now scientists even track bees by attaching wireless sensors to them.
While connectivity is still a limiting factor in what can be achieved, the important question being tackled at the moment is what to do with all the collected data. It’s being collected from a myriad of sources. What is the data’s purpose? How much is too much? Is ‘big data’ the next big thing? How best do we manage, process, analyse and package the data into a usable format that can be used by the land owner.

“There is a lot of excitement in the rural sector about the potential of big data in improving the long-term profitably of the sector,” said Ken Wilson, programme manager for MobileTECH 2016. “As well as showcasing the wide range of technologies at MobileTECH in March, issues like big data, cloud-based systems, wireless monitoring, data management, enhanced quality satellite imagery, mobile computing, UAVs, robotics and automation and the Internet of things will be major talking points at the event”.

MobileTECH 2016 will be packed with innovative presentations, demonstrations and panel discussions on where mobile technologies are being used, how they can be integrated within the primary sector and what the opportunities are just around the corner. Attendees will hear from, connect with and be inspired by both sides – the technology developers AND industry users.
For more information about this event, see the conference website at