Red, White or IoT?
Michael Alba posted on November 13, 2017 |
How one vineyard will use IoT sensors with LTE-M to improve winery operations.
A selection of wines soon to benefit from the Internet of Things. (Image courtesy of Henry of Pelham.)
A selection of wines soon to benefit from the Internet of Things. (Image courtesy of Henry of Pelham.)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is reaching delicious new heights in the form of a pilot project that will bring IoT sensors to an Ontario vineyard. The Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery will be the beneficiary of a partnership between telecom giant Bell, communications technology provider Huawei, and IoT asset tracking company BeWhere, who will work together to implement an automated IoT solution for the vineyard.

The pilot project, which is designed to help improve planning and sustainability programs, will make use of environmental IoT sensors across the vineyard. The sensors will enable Henry of Pelham to remotely monitor environmental conditions, including temperature and water levels, as well as provide an autonomous data gathering system for years to come. Hopefully, the system will help improve overall plant health, prevent vine disease, and reduce operating costs.

"Unexpected adverse weather conditions can impact quality, yield and mortality of our crops," said Matthew Speck, one of the owners of Henry of Pelham Winery. "Bell's solution will increase the density of our environmental monitoring. We'll be able to automatically act on temperature inversions by turning on fans when temperatures change, ensuring the health of our grapes and an optimal product for our customers. The solution is not only economical and scalable, it gives growers a good view of the vines' temperature needs to improve quality and drive sustainability."

The IoT sensors will be connected to Bell’s LTE-M (aka Cat-M) wireless network, which is set to launch in 2018. LTE-M is a Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) standard that operates within existing cellular bands to enable the uploading of IoT sensor data. Like other LPWAN standards, LTE-M enables IoT devices to operate at very low power and with enhanced coverage in remote locations. Because of these benefits, LPWANs are an increasingly popular option for IoT applications such as asset tracking, smart cities, environmental monitoring, supply chain management and more.

“Bell's leadership in LTE-M wireless technology and in the IoT space is a result of our continued investment and innovation in broadband communications networks and services," said Bell Vice President Claire Gillies. "The LTE-M network enables smart sensors to collect and send data over a wider range and with much better battery life—a perfect fit for Henry of Pelham, wineries and growers across the country, and many other industries."

For another environmental application of the Internet of Things, check out How an Engineer Used IoT to Save His Avocado Farm.

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