How John Deere brought the farming experience to CES using VR

The best “booth” presentation at CES this year wasn’t from who you’d expect

John Deere at CES
John Deere at CES

Did you know that the fruits or vegetables you’re eating might’ve been planted using artificial intelligence? Neither did we – until John Deere sent us their “virtual booth” kit for CES. 

This year, as an alternative to visiting their booth and checking out their farming equipment on the CES show floor, John Deere sent out Occulus VR headsets to select CES media attendees. The VR headset was preloaded with a VR experience which demonstrates just how sophisticated their tractor and planter equipment is. Using the headset, we got to experience the seeding process from within their 8RX tractor. 

It turns out that their equipment utilizes a combination of AI, IoT 4G, robotics, and other technologies to support agriculture worldwide. Farmers just need to sit comfortably in their John Deere tractor and let the equipment do the heavy lifting – that includes everything from spacing out and planting seeds to using AI to make sure that seeds aren’t accidentally planted on top of each other. 

If the equipment runs into any maintenance issues, a 4G connection will alert the nearest John Deere dealer so that they can wirelessly fix any issues or send someone out to address them.

The representative who took us on the “tour” also explained to us that the world’s population is expected to grow to nearly 10 billion by 2050, increasing global food demand by 50%. To reduce hunger and serve a growing population, we need to increase agricultural productivity by 60 to 70%.

The company’s 8RX Tractor 60-foot, 24-row planter are powered by over 300 sensors and 140 controllers that process 15,000 measurements per second per machine. On a typical day of spring planting, John Deere processes five to 15 million sensor measurements every second.

So it’s not just the ease of use that makes John Deere’s equipment so vital, but the fact that its technology is needed to help support our planet’s growing demand for increased food production.

Ultimately, this was a brilliant way to demonstrate the company’s robotics without being physically at a booth.  Fortunately, you can experience a similar virtual experience by visiting John Deere’s CES micro site.

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