Drink Link Entertainment

We read a bit recently about the countryside needing an Uber type service to bring people home from the pub. It is an interesting request and one made at minister and TD level. We think it fits in nicely with the community building in Smartrural.

With the right platforms: neighbours, friends and even taxi operators could be connected. The public house owner can give a sort of early warning over the community platform. Along the lines, there is a big crowd in here, we’ll need to get at least 6 people home later. Or the opposite, its a quiet night. Local knowledge , local information all on a community platform.

Sharing and helping is always a feature of rural communities. Lately it has becme more difficult as the platforms took us away in FB land or the world of twitter and the like. The future and new technology can be built to bring us back to the community and actually serve the needs of the community rather than the needs of large gloabl organisations.


We have a wee story to tell of a small community in Spain. It is completely bereft of any sources of entertainment. The last saloon/pub/bar was closed down about 6 years ago. There is no restaurant, post office, shop or anything commercial. The village has a community hall and a sports ground, but sadly no one to use them on a day to day basis as they are now too large for the few people left during weekdays.

However one of the residents has decided that he would like to keep some sense of community and entertainment. So every Friday night he get his projector set up on a white wall in his garden, selects a film (or two), gets a few plates and some glasses and some cutlery. The neighbours arrive with some drinks, snacks and some nibbles.

The owner has good internet (not 5G)  but downloads the film in advance- just in case. Sometimes it rains and they go inside, sometimes they forget to start the film they are chatting so much.

He may be breaking some copyright but he hopes not as it is a group of friends and extended family.

He hopes that when Iot comes in play and more and more people are working in a location they love, that the village will come back to life. He has great hopes for the futue of work!

They have a great night and stop the film a couple of times to eat a bit of food and chat. The whole event has about 25 people and is a regular part of their village life.

Re living in the country

So eventually it will come down to money. When one is balancing up where to live, city or coutry. If there are equal opportunities then lets look at the finances. There is a bit more to do in this but most people seem to think that city living is quite dear,. Starting off with accomodation.
Renting or buying is quite different in the country side vs the cities, Just look at any of the rental sites and make a quick comparison. For cost of a small 1 bed studio you can have a large 4 bedroom house in many locations.
Commuting is somehwat different, but again it usually works out less expensive as bringing children to school is less difficult , going to work is usually just in your home.
Food, well living in the county according to all the statistics will give you better value. You may not get as many ready to go meals but when you are saving hours of commute time every day, you may have a few minutes to cook real food from scratch.
Social life is always cheaper with meals, cinema etc much cheaper. The cost of babysitting is way less too if you are in the position to need one.
It is hard enough to find out what is dearer to be honest. Happy for input on this one. !

Spirituality #smartrural

We live in a diverse world with many people following various philosophies regarding the meaning of life and the after life.

These are quite easy to explore and express in many of our larger cities of the world. However with the advent of 5g, IoT etc the geographic and colocation of practice and support are less of a problem than in the past.

As technology advances with augmented, extended, and virtual reality, the participation in the chosen philosophy by the individual or community,  is less difficult and will become more and more satisfying as individuals will be able to connect to the thought and practice leaders in the domain and participate in those practices which most closely align with their beliefs and values.

This will and can happen in cities but also in rural communities, adding a dimension not present before and one that further erodes the perceived benefits of living in cities.

Smart farmers #smartrural

We are looking at the continuous challenge presented by people with opposing points of view regarding farming, especially of animals.

We do not see much counter arguements or at lease there are but they are not always positive. Pity.

We think that perhaps there might be a plan?

Water- farmers have the resources to target water storage and ground water protection. How many farmers can say that 100% of their home water and farm washing water is rainwater?

Energy- This is really a subset of the Carbon and climate change issue. Again with solar , wind and geo therm solutions- how many farmers say they are 100% renewable? If the big corpos like Apple etc want to say it for their data centres then surely it is a positive for farmers to be able to say it too?

Transport/Vehicles- again here we have sities making huge efforts regarding public transport, biking, e-scooters and the like.  We have a hydrogen train in Germany and hydrogen ships being built. Are our friends in the farming community getting ready for hydrogen tractors , combines and the like?  Is there information from advisory bodies on this? Is it possible that farmers can generate their own hydrogen from amonia in animal waste?

Packaging- single plastics are the big culprit here, but are there alternatives to the plastics used on farm? Similarily with waste. Could farmers take back any waste they sell? Most sell without any packaging, so this is an easy step.

How about working to develop farms that are carbon and energy neutral, that release as much water to groundwater as they use, that use machinery that has zero emissions, that recylce all the packaging they use.

The problem of methane production and livestock production will be solved by bio chemists or at least reduced considerably. Or indeed new technologies may assist in finding solutions, in the meantime we hope and wish to work to assist in the drive to make #smartrural .

It would be great to read more about these initiatives. Any readers with information we would love to hear from you. @jsmartrural

Rural Transport

There are a few items to be considered here in the context of emissions and climate change. If we start with the assumption that internal combustion engines are bad then we need to figure out what is going to replace them and what is good.

So far we see cities adopting electic bikes and more recently electric scooters. The electric car is here too with many variants fo hybrid. However where are we going with tractors, trucks, lorries, buses and trains?

All these are really vital to the s=rural community and we need a #smartrural solution.

In UK there are now hydrogen buses, in China they are electric. In Scotland they are building hydrogen ships. In Japan they will have 35 hydrogen fuelling points to cover the entire country,  (which seems like very few but it puts everyone within 10 minutes of a point). In Germany hydrogen trains are up and running.

In Sweden they are putting recharging tracks into the roads so that electric powered lorries and trucks can recharge on the move.

So it looks like hydrogen and electricity (batteries) are the future for heavy transport.

The tractors and trucks of the future are going to have to change away for diesel. Are we ready ? Can we afford it? What will happen to the old engines?





There is a great tradition of telling stories in rural communities. These can be true, invented, exaggarated, funny, serious. The joy is the assembly of people who feel they are part of a community and the act of telling binds them to a place and to an event and to the teller.
Often there are disagreements, different points of view. but that is normal and part of learning, growing, and being human. It is part of beig a community.
In #smartrural we see storytelling as multifaceted. It is ideal if it can take place in a physical space where everyone in the community can attend. However, and no surprise here, that is not always possible. So we will use smart tech to get people to attend remotely, to participate and to encourage a physical attendance the next time.
The teller can ofter be available bu tthe audience may not. A simple bit of tech can assist in setting storytelling events up when there is a gathering. This can happen for a community event or for a simple reason like a change in weather or a wedding or indeed a funeral. These are times when comunity come together and using tech, storytelling can become a part of these occassions.

#smartrural has the advantage that it does not have to be advanced calendar driven with all the hopes that people can attend. It can respond to the prescence of people and just kick into action to set up the event.

NASA report

So here is a link that makes the case for what is increasing the amount of methane in the air. We have been reading here in #smartrural about cows and other ruminants creating all these greenhouse gasses.


This research indicates that rice paddies and increased hydrocarbon burning have exactly added the amount of increase that was measured. It is nice when sums add up.

Love other opinions or ideas on this but as a top down view (get it, Nasa, satellites etc) it looks pretty robust!

So maybe rural communities can continue to play a role in food production/ #smartrural


CES 2019

Here we worry that there is not enough representation at CES. It is an area where we find our competitors are presenting their new products. We need to encourage some agricultural bodies to take a stand and show off the good things that are happening in the countryside. From building strong sustainable communities to using new technology for food production to providing safe homs with great education and health opportunities.

There is so much happening in the cities of the world, so much Investment, so much new technology being deployed the countryside might become forgotten. the best brains seem to be concentrating on providing new smarter platforms for the cities. We need to get some of these brains to help the country build on its strength and be able to be sustainable into the future.

Internet purpose

While working away reading of 5G, the future of work and smart cities, Ihappened on this infographic. It is a good one but Imust spend some time and figure out how many people are using the internet each minute.

The amazing thing to me is that most of the time is on communication and social networks. Yet as a race we seem to be more isolated than every

Some other aspects I found and will write about soon

  • the number of people living alone has never been so high and is growing rapidly
  • over 30% of people working in USA would rather live somewhere else and most would like to move from city setting to rural or suburban town setting
  • a few rural communities have rebuilt themselves by adopting a common purpose and going for it with as much energy as they could
  • the role of the countryside and its strength in its community will be needed as cities continue to grow.
    An interesting graphic on internet usage. 5g and future of work will continue to see this evolve.

    so thanks for reading. More to follow! #smartrural