Remote working

We have read a great deal about this and a recent survey indicates that over 140k people define their work as remote. This seems very large in and Irish context. Further work will be done on this to establish the validity and types of work. A great organisation growremote is working on this with government bodies and are to be commended.

There are some worries on this front too however. Many individuals find that working remote is a bit lonely. They seem to miss the interaction with colleagues and the plain old banter of the world of work. This is helped by joining in and using coworking places. Thankfully these are spreading all over the place. It is critical that employers help support these for the well being  of their team members and also for their own sucess .

As usual the idea of remote working is turning into a blend of working at home, working in coworking centres and other facilities and attendance at the central place of work. (If one actually exists!)

The opportunities in this area are growing and changing by leaps and bounds. Increasingly it is being found that open offices, multitudes of meetings, and micromanagement are actually reducing  productivity. Present day remote workers are a bit like evangalists and are making new ground. Turst is the key to future success in this area.

Changes in management skills and also in employee skills will be needed to make sure that remote workers are managed well and feel a productive and valuable part of an organisation. That is a two way street. Thankfully there are more and more people reporting about their direct experiences and the good and bad apples in the barrell.

The future of work in the workplace seems to be moving. There will be more automation of routine works. Some evidence based decision making will change too as computers will be able to consider more variables than us poor human brains. We see this in reports of improved early diagnosis of skin cancers by machines rather than by Doctors.   So work will change at the basic end and at the high end. ( in terms of perceived value rewarded per hour)

New skills will be needed and we will all need to adapt. But that is what we are good at. So no fears, onwards!


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

Helpful things post 5 g

These are a few little tasks that can take some frustration out of our lives. They are all practical and hopefully without costs.
I hope that when 5g comes to pass we can use it to find our keys. So many times we wonder, where did I put my keys..So a small RFID or sensor plus a couple of beacons should allow us to find them rapidly in our homes. It may seem trivial and not as grandiose as other ideas but it could help a lot of people.
Another one is- did Iturnoff the gas, water, lock the door, turn on the alarm, put the cat out. Again if we are leaving home in a rush thenthese thoughts pop into our mind. Because we do it constantly we more than likely did what do we do now- turn around and go back to check. Then we are late and annoyed and indeed traffic may have got worse. When we have 5 g and our things are connected it should be easy to have a leaving house routine where doors are locked, gas turned off, water turned off etc. A few solenoids, a small software programme and then connectivity to it from car or smart phone or even telling a device that you are leaving home.
The same when returning, especially if it is dark and cold. At present we have tolog into an App, turn on lights, kettle etc. How cumbersome and unpleasant is that. Again a simple software script, a voice sensor and a call to connected device should allow a check list or routine set up to be started and ready for you.
Just some simple ideas of what might be useful to mere mortals!

Sports and #smartrural

Another scenario that happens in country towns and villages. The local school and sports clubs work for many years with the children bringing them to the joys of team and individual sports, discovering the skills and abilities in each one. These are tough voluntary roles for members of the communities but ones that bring great joy.
We know that as the call of the city for education and opportunites gets louder as the young man or woman reaches that stage of their life, their love of sport may fall by the wayside. They may simply not be familiar with the new clubs where they set up their home, they may be busyin other
areas. How great it could be if the sports could continue into the future and they could still keep their identity with old teammates. A virtual team is becoming more and more real. A team where training and practice could continue virtually with regular physical meet ups to hone the skills.
Bike riders can now cycle practically any challenge in the world on a stationary bike using imagery and electronics. Surgeons can operate on patients at a distance of thousands of kms.
Even better education and work are changing. OVer 40% of employers realise that remote working is here. Education is constantly becoming virtual with more and more on line courses. Home schooling is a growing business that with proper support and connectivity can allow people to remain in their communities for longer.
As our cities grow and grow they become more and more unpleasant on many levels. Every effort to build #smartrural can help to minimise this and provide real life and community in the countryside.


The scenario is:
I see a sitting room belonging to an old lady, lets call her Josie, a mother and a grandmother. The room is in a house in a vilage, something like we all know, in the country, population about 1000. Her husband has passed away and her family are working and living elsewhere. One of here daughters is called Mary. The front room where she spends most of her life has the usual, TV, photos, sofa, seat, table, lamps etc. It has been teched up and hooked to the smart rural platform.

She is a bit lonely but proud and independant. Quite well travelled, fond of giving advice.

So my dream is Josie walks into the room and says “Mary, are you there”. The technology picks this up and calls Mary.( Who hopefully is able to answer.)

Now based on the new stuff coming ( and already here) Mary can imemdiately appear in the room, she might be standing, sitting etc etc. The people in the digital media world will be able to put a full size Mary anywhere into the room based on previous data collections. The smart rural platform will have enabled to room with tiny devices: speakers, cameras, projectors, microphones, etc etc.
Josie can put on a set of reading glasses ( again techie enabled on the smart rural platform) and show Mary something she bought and Mary can see it. You could go further and Josie and Mary could each put on a glove and if Josie touches it Mary can feel the touch.
That’s one scenario.

Another scenario is that if Josie has other kids/grandkids they could come along virtually and sit with her to watch say a soap every night or some nights per week. They could chat about the programme as it happens and basically create a “live” companionship.

It will never of course be the same as an actual visit but with the techie that is already here and if 5 g does what it says then we can do this in the next couple of years.

I read about creating empathic robots to sit and talk to people. I read that most of the new houses and apartments that need to be built between now and 2050 will be in cities and will be only for 1 or 2 people. I read that lonliness in the middle of huge cities is growing and indeed leading to some less than optimal human health side effects.

We can do better. #smartrural

Rural Tourism #smartrural

When travelling through Spain and France lately many beautiful sites had cafes with outdoor terraces. Really pretty and cool in the heat. However nearly all had signs saying there was no service on the terrace. So many many visitors went in , bought what they wished and took it to the terrace to eat.

The owners could not manage the staffing of the terraces as they had no idea when people might arrive, how many might arrive. They really wanted to give a better experience to their guests and also would like to give some work to someone.

So when #smartrural is up and running it should be possible to give some advance warning or at least use some algorithms to try to assist owners when demand might rise.

A combination of weather forecasts, historical information on visitor numbers, nearby events, special promotions in local attractions,  opening hours, traffic movements out of cities, should all provide information to give service providers advace warning that would enable them to adjust staffing levels, food purchases etc etc.

This information is all there, it just needs to be brought together and used. There is little doubt that if it was working then the experience of customers would be better and this might make them return more frequently. #smart rural


One project from Smart Rural security

This one is from the security part of smart rural. As you may know there was a tradition of not even locking doors in the country but sadly that has been changed as more and more older people are violently robbed. As they are alone and burglars regularily think they have cash as opposed to having money in bank then there are a number of issues to be solved.

The traditional way to prevent burglaries is by doors, gates, locks, dogs, neighbourhood watch, security and police patrols, So can we do some of this using smart stuff?
This project would install a number of sensors in a geographic area. In Ireland there are 4 types or roads, Motorways and national routes for town to town stuff. Then there are R roads for linking villages- say smaller villages to each other and to larger towns. Then there are L Roads for local access. For example the road to individual farms from main or R type roads. These are usually not heavily trafficed and often have some spectacular potholes! The sensors in this case would be only on L roads. They should be OK on these roads as they really are only used for local access and for say local deliveries. So the roads can be open during the day but have restricted access during the night, or whenever the locals decided. Of course the use of the tech would allow for phones, tags, or sensors to give automatic access for cars, tractors etc to be able to access when they were pre registered or entering the area on invitation. Anything accessing could be tracked too for retrospective review if something awry occurs.
We envision maybe a pop up bollard as it is less intrusive and requires minimum electiricy and maintenance. These are now common place.
I imagine the location of them would be like the outer layer of a spiders web. But the outer ring would be community driven in terms of location. There would be other projects then to increase security in increasingly close layers as you get to the centre of the web and to the most vulnerable people.
A side effect of these bollards is that they could be used to create cycle ways to be used by visitors and with some imagination neighbouring communities could create a route from say the end of town and city bike lanes out to the country and back. This of course then adds to the attraction of the rural community and step by step it may develop commercial halt stops as have developed along greenways.

There is an app in Chile that can send alerts to you based on geographic incidents . For example if I was on this app and a house in my vicinity was robbed, then I would get an alert. If however a house 20 KM away was robbed it would mark it as a robbery on a map I can see, but not send me a specific alert. A bit like the spider web , increasing levels of protection centered on the vulnerable spot.
This idea uses all existing technology, bollards, tags, communications to create an outer security zone and also to possibly create something in the income side for the community. It does however need a platform for the bollards to talk to a central hub regarding access approval and timing of rising and falling.

Dog Washing and Grooming

An interesting and simple product. Fits into a retail space of about 25 Sq M. Needs electricity and water. Can be set up with Cameras and access to be unmanned. Good potential for profits and requires minimal maintenance. Opportunity for vending of dog snacks and accessories. Contact us.

Security personal and property

Ok, an app, what else? Developed in South America with over 8 million users.

Paid for by central and or local government, why- because it improves the security and safety of citizens.

Used by the first responders and by the citizens.

Records in a social media style incidents of suspicion, actual happenings like Road traffic accidents, fires, break ins.

Sends alerts to First repsonders and citizens in immediate affected area to warn and advise of incidents.


Up and running in South America in Spanish and English. Ready to deploy in Europe and indeed further afield. Contact us for more!