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Sony Electronics upgrades smart agriculture solution to include AI

Sony Electronics announced a software update for its smart agriculture solution aimed at providing agricultural customers with new AI-based imaging capabilities, Sony said in a release.

These new features, based on industry feedback, provide expanded functionality and are planned for rollout in March 2020.  Additionally, Sony Electronics, which currently offers its Smart Agriculture Solution in the United States, expects to begin offering the solution in Australia starting next month.

With the launch of Sony’s Version 2.0 software update, the agriculture solution — consisting of a drone-mounted multispectral sensing unit and Fast Field Analyzer image analytics software for in-the-field crop management, monitoring and insights — will add Sony’s imaging and AI-based technology for stand counting, which allows growers to assess the planting quality, enabling replanting decisions to be made earlier and with greater accuracy.

After collaboration with several agronomy companies, including Syngenta, the latest Smart Agriculture Solution software enables a more robust way to count and evaluate early-stage row crops, with capabilities for variable and uniform seeding rates, Sony said.

Additional benefits of the Version 2.0 software include a more accurate representation of the field achieved by wide-area comprehensive sampling, which enables sectional replanting to save time and maximize yield. Furthermore, the solution offers insights for assessing the quantity and quality of a planting, the company said.

“Sony entered the agriculture space earlier this year and in that short time, our imaging expertise and relationships in the market have helped us learn, grow and adapt our strategy to provide a more meaningful solution for agronomists,” said Theresa Alesso, pro division president at Sony Electronics. “We have aligned ourselves with influential companies, universities and researchers large and small to get a holistic picture of the agronomy landscape from their perspective and to better understand the role that technology plays in their decision making and insights. We have taken this industry feedback to heart, which is why the new Version 2.0 software for our Smart Agriculture Solution combines hi-resolution drone imagery with AI to offer a more accurate and time-saving approach to plant counting and analysis.”

“In-field replant decisions are an important factor in planning for better yields, but the process has traditionally been a time consuming, rigid and costly endeavor,” said Charlie Siggs, digital agronomy project manager, Syngenta. “Using drones for wider area comprehensive stand counts enables sectional replanting for growers. Paired with in-field fast AI analytics, replanting can potentially be done the same day as the stand count. This new workflow maximizes the yield potential and saves operational costs. The enhanced solution Sony has created is an important step forward for digital agriculture.”

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