A TEMPLEPATRICK businessman has developed new technology for the agricultural industry which could also have major positive implications for the rest of the world.
Dr Aaron McConnell, of IT solutions company Vynomic Ltd, has created agricultural, or ‘agri wi-fi’, which can provide internet access up to 25 miles away from the root source. This means farmers now have an opportunity like never before to use technology to their benefit.
“The technology I’ve developed means farmers can have instant visual access to their farms and out-houses at any time,” says Dr McConnell. “The cameras provide high-definition sound and night vision, and you can monitor them via your iPad or iPhone. They also have motion detection and in-built video recorders for added security.”
Powered by solar energy rather than electricity, Dr McConnell’s invention could also serve a vital use further afield, providing almost instant communication infrastructures in areas devastated by natural disasters.
Previously based in Garvagh, Dr McConnell is a graduate of Ulster University in Coleraine, where he completed a PhD in Cloud Computing Networking and Resource Management. He also holds an advanced MSc in Telecommunications and Distributed Systems and a BSc Honours degree. More recently, Dr McConnell also took part in the Digital Causeway Graduate Accelerator Programme (dcGAP), designed to ‘promote and support enterprise in the areas of media, IT and big data’.
The initiative was funded by Coleraine Borough Council, Invest Northern Ireland and The European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland. It was further project-managed by Ulster University’s Coleraine Campus (School of Computing & Information Engineering and School of Media, Film & Journalism), with input from the Causeway Enterprise Agency (CEA).
“Causeway Enterprise Agency helped me refine the financial side of the business, which I had found really difficult,” he says. “It also focused me on forward planning for the next two to three years.”