Farmers to spray cows with QR codes

Rating: One idea from T-Mobile brainstorming session

This is nothing short of brilliant. T-Mobile has recently held a brainstorming session with the UK’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Instead of any boring old design, farmers are now going to brand their cows with QR codes. OK. We’ve made that bit up about branding, but when cows go to auction they are now going to be sprayed with a QR code which links back to the animal’s provenance and vaccination history. The best bit is that this information can be read by anyone with a smartphone and these days who doesn’t have one? Compare that to the existing situation where farmers can tag their cattle with chips to identify them. The catch is that the scanning equipment costs £1,500 to read such chips. With this solution, the scanner costs nothing because any cameraphone can serve as the scanner.

To demonstrate how the whole QR-coding of cows would work, T-Mobile has produced a demo. It links to this page.

When scanned, the QR will link people to the cow’s personalised webpage which includes its age, inoculation history, breed, etc. Of course, any free QR code scanner app would work with the code.

The next bit is scary in all senses of the word. The next app allows users to control scarecrow movements using a smartphone’s 3G connection.

The app also provides live-feeds from night-vision cameras located in the scarecrow’s eyes, thereby helping farmers track nuisance birds by day and monitor for livestock rustlers by night.
How scary is that?

A panel of farmers at the T-Mobile brainstorm came up with a whole bunch of other spooky mobile app ideas.

How about this one? A flying sheepdog drone app? With it farmers will have flying drones they control with smartphones. A video feed to the phone will enable farmers to see what the drone sees and control their flocks of sheep remotely.

GoMo news is going to ignore some of the other ideas such as an infra-red cmaera sening images of sheep back to – presumably – their shepherd at night.

Back in the real world once participant, Ed Shires, a farmer from Buckinghamshire, commented, “The brainstorm brought up some exciting smartphone app ideas that could really help farmers.

The most interesting thing for me is how this technology can help cut costs. Some of the farming technology you need can easily run into the thousands. Why spend that sort of money when a 69p smartphone app could achieve similar results?” Why, indeed?

“With farmers being one of our most important customers, we were keen to find out how mobile technology could really supercharge their business,” explained Martin Stiven, a vp for business, with T-Mobile.

“People frequently talk about small business owners being wedded to their smartphones but overlook that farmers are micro businesses in their own right, often adopting mobile technology well ahead of the field.”

There’s got to be some joke in here about farmers being way ahead in their own field.

Anwya, GoMo News is well impressed with their T-Mobile initiative and can’t wait to see it applied to other vertical markets. Second-hand car dealers springs immediately to mind.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in Featured, Mobile applications, Mobile barcodes, t-mobile and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Farmers to spray cows with QR codes

  1. jack says:

    That is without a shadow of a doubt, amazing.

  2. Pingback: Qr Coded Cows – Again « QR Code Artist

  3. Big brother is watchig … cow! :D

  4. cyberdoyle says:

    The real innovations are coming from farmers themselves, and not with gimmicks like you mention in your article. The farmers are fed up with not having a connection and are building their own fibre network. has the details if you want to see real innovation at work…

  5. Pingback: Is it Time For You to Add A QR Code? | Grasshopper Blog

  6. Jim says:

    QRcow, you’ll like that

  7. Pingback: French cows painted with QR codes cause local stir | QR Code Reader

  8. Pingback: Is it Time For You to Add A QR Code? » The Grasshopper Blog

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