Friday, 24 May 2013 16:24

Tech summit for primary industries

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For the first time in New Zealand, a mobile communications event is being run specifically for primary industries.

MobileTECH Summit 2013 runs in Wellington on August 7-8. A two-day programme bringing together this country's leading communications specialists, technology providers and those working in the primary industries, has just been released. Details can be found on the event website,

Innovations and productivity gains for businesses are being offered through new mobile communications technologies. Significant advancements in the day-to-day business environment have meant that many of the traditional operations within our primary industries have changed – and for some it seems, almost overnight. Improving communication networks, the use of cloud computing, better harnessing of machine to machine systems, wireless monitoring, enhanced quality satellite imagery and the integration of smart phones are continuing to reshape business.

The speed of change is only going to increase and the opportunities are immense, says the summit organisers. As primary industries come to grips with just what the technology is, how it can be used, adopted and integrated into existing operations and what's being rolled out in the next 12 months, there are huge benefits in the country's land and water based industries learning from each other.

In agriculture, water access and irrigation issues have been a major driver of technology development within the industry. New tools like smart metering, crop sensing, spatial data and automated application systems has led to better water use and optimisation for our farmers throughout the country.

For forestry, harvesting machines are being sent to specific forest stands to cut to order – and the order file is being changed by using satellite and mobile communications - in real time. This technology is a world first – and of course can be applied to other harvesting operations for land-based industries.

Handheld devices, including smartphones, tablets and GPS devices have already become a crucial part of life for transport and logistics operators. These businesses are harnessing mobile technologies to improve their fleet management, scheduling and safety. The technologies being employed in the dairy, meat and wool or forestry industries again are world class and can be applied to most primary industries transporting goods or products to market.

"We're delighted with the calibre of presenters that have come on board for this year's MobileTECH Summit 2013," says Ken Wilson, Connex programme manager, the organiser of the inaugural event. "Innovative companies including; Mobile Mentor, Alcatel-Laurent, GPS-iT, Hawkeye UAV, GeoSystems, Aerial Surveys, TreeMetrics, Lindsay International, IrrigationNZ, ECONZ, SST Software Australia, FarmIQ, NZ RFID Pathfinder Group and HitLabNZ will be discussing the very latest tools, platforms and technologies that can be used to improve the productivity and financial performance of local companies."

Input to the programme design and support has also been given by major food and fibre industry associations, mobile communications providers, Government departments and research institutes.

Further details including the full programme and registration details can now be found on the event website,

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