The Austrian startup Smartbow founded in 2009 by Wolfgang Auer develops smart solutions for livestock farming and hat already sold about 100,000 intelligent ear tags for cows around the world. This enables tracking of cows in real-time, heat detection and monitoring of rumination. Due to the fact that changing batteries takes quite a lot of time, the Upper Austrians rely on an algorithm to serve as the energy watchdog.
The ear tag supplies a broad range of information. In addition to the ability to localize the animals, data is also generated about their health. This is due to an acceleration sensor registering movement of the ears. Algorithms to recognize patterns are developed which are continuously being upgraded by Smartbow with the data of tens of thousands of ear tag cows. For example, the software registers when a cow eats less, lies down less frequently or moves more. “Then the farmer gets the information on his computer or smart phone that the cow is in heat, should be inseminated or where it is at a given moment”, says Auer in describing a typical report. The early recognition of life-threatening illnesses or injuries can be facilitated, and suitable treatment can thus be more quickly initiated.