Marketing Of Shipping Container Farms Leaves Internet Of Things Behind The Scenes

The Internet of Things may be taking a turn toward invisibility when it comes to marketing, at least in how a new connected farm is being positioned.

Freight Farms, the company that turns shipping containers into year-round farms, is introducing a new connected farm unit that is four times smaller than its flagship offering.

The new farm is geared toward small and medium sized businesses and restaurants who might want to grow their own produce and the connected features that make the product operate aren’t being positioned front and center

Rather, the connectivity is seen as an expected feature set in the eyes of the modern day customer, according to Freight Farms.

The IoT Daily talked with the Freight Farms team at a product reveal event in Boston over the weekend about how connectivity and the Internet of Things play into the products and how they are positioned in the market.

When it comes to remote operation and connectivity, Freight Farms’ Community Manager Caroline Katsiroubas said businesses and consumers alike these days expect to be able to manage their devices and services remotely through a smartphone.

As a result, integrating such connectivity into products is essential for any brand as the market moves into a more and more connected world, according to Katsiroubas.

The new Freight Farms unit aims to simplify the farming process to three stages: planting, monitoring and harvesting. Farmers order the seeds directly from Freight Farms, as well as other supplies like the nutrients that flow through the hydroponic system (no soil is involved) and then the farm system monitors and adjusts the levels of nutrients introduced into the water being fed to the greens automatically, since it knows which plants are growing, thanks to IoT technology running on the platform of Boston-based Xively.

Through the Farmhand app, farmers receive notifications when the produce is ready to be harvested and cameras inside the farm provide a real-time look into the different areas of each shipping container.

The new unit, set to hit the market next year, is about a quarter of the size of Freight Farms’ flagship Leafy Green Machine (which equates to a 1.5 acre farm inside a full-sized shipping container).
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