The internet of bees is saving crops

BeeHero is providing the Internet of hives

Bees are critical to the pollination of crops, and are dying at an alarming rate due to infestation of damaging mites. To prevent loss of crop production, farmers are calling on bee keepers to set up and tend important hives on and around fields. BeeHero, an Israeli tech firm, has developed an IOT sensor that resides inside the hive to monitor health, activity and stress levels, and transmit the information to bee keepers who can act quickly if problems are detected. Hive management has resulted in 30% to 100% increases in crop yield. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: IOT and agriculture are a good fit. IOT technologies, at least for consumers, have been hampered by difficulties to demonstrate adequate ROIs. Agricultural yields are directly measurable and a great showcase for IOT. More successful demonstrations will inspire new developments and greater contributions to better living through technology.

Google Pixel phones include personal safety features

Google continues to differentiate its phones through personal safety features. Last year it shipped car crash detection features and this year it is providing features that enable a user to have the phone confirm their safety if they are on a run or walk alone. The phone pings the owner on set intervals and requires an “all okay” response and, if none is received, informed one’s contacts of potential danger. TheVerge

dis-rup-shun: Differentiation through software is more important than ever, as smartphone makers struggle to find new hardware features. Keeping people safer and healthier is a strong selling feature, and while Google is going deep into safety, Apple continues to go deep in  healthcare.

U.S. Army considers using SpaceX’s Starlink network

Starlink is the chain of, ultimately, 42,000 satellites that SpaceX is launching into low orbit around the earth. The U.S. Army is testing the system as a way to deliver Internet services to hard-to-reach places around the globe. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Truly global Internet service will be a game changer to communities, to first responders, and to the military. The disastrous situation seen in Lone Survivor is but one example of fatalities that could have been avoided with truly global, high-quality data connectivity.

AirBnB landlords face shakeout as small players sell at losses

Coronavirus quarantine, ending most travel for at least two months, has caused a fire sale among small, independent landlords who are selling properties to big operators. Mom and pop investors and real estate owners, often leveraging debt to purchase rental properties, are shedding debt payment and selling at discounted prices while large investors are consolidating their holdings, picking up bargains. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Technology has not caused this industry shake-out, but has enabled far more people to participate in the modern hotel-ing business — one that appeared low-risk until the pandemic. Real estate is an industry that has traditionally been wrung out every decade or two, so this is just the latest in what is a highly cyclical industry. The individual traveler, however, loses when the diversity of housing options and prices is consolidated into the hands of large operators who control supply and pricing.