[SYD21]




Key Dates

25 February - Launch Deadline
29 April - Standard Deadline
24 June - Late Deadline
9 September - Judging
16 September - Winners Announced
19 October - Awards Presentation

LX AgTech Product Ecosystem [DRAFT]





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Project Overview

The LX AgTech Ecosystem is designed to give a farmer their entire farm in their pocket.

With full stack, cutting edge technology developed by LX, the range comprises core devices including a remote telemetry node, trackers with advanced sensing options and a wide range of third party agricultural sensors and accessories that have been configured to work with the Blue Node through a custom built smart sensor join.

The challenge was to create a system that collated all key data streams in one easy to use, intuitive system that encouraged uptake at scale in the target audience.

Organisation

LX

Team

The development of the AgTech Product Ecosystem came about from identifying a need in the agriculture market for a system of remote monitoring and tracking that was user friendly, easy to deploy and aggregated all key data streams in one place.

With over 15 years of experience developing electronic and IoT products for clients through the LX Design House, the team at LX were well placed to design and develop an owned range of products from the electronic hardware and firmware right through to the software apps and user dashboards.

The founder of LX, Simon Blyth, comes from a farming background and identified that whilst there were numerous suppliers in the AgTech market, products often provided part of a solution but needed to be integrated with multiple other products or solutions at the hardware or software and reporting level. Further, existing solutions tended to require professional installation and the associated reporting was not always designed with the end user in mind.

Through extensive research and discovery with key stakeholder groups, LX developed a core range of products, at the heart of which is the Blue Node. This remote telemetry node was then integrated with specific third party sensors through a custom built, discreet smart sensor join that enables a simple Plug n' Play installation and automated commissioning to the LX Incyt App.

Added to the Blue Node is a range of trackers with advanced sensing options and accessories including a custom built power junction and sensor junction. Every product within the ecosystem has been designed to be plug n' play, built to last using the latest in ultra low power IoT technologies and to providing key reports through an intuitive user dashboard. The products can be used individually but have also been configured into key 'solutions' where they work pull in various data streams into a visualisation for a key issue such as spray drift risk or frost damage.

The project team, who hail from a pedigree that includes Apple, Cochlear, Resmed and Bosch have worked across multiple industries and verticals. This was a full stack development project that included all facets of development including a hardware team, firmware and software teams, Product CTO as well as members of the LX Executive team.

Project Brief

Existing products and systems tend to be disparate or incomplete, meaning an end user has to deploy multiple different programs, creating more work than the processes they are designed to replace.

By creating a simple ‘Plug n’ Play’ system, the LX range encourages uptake in the end user because they can get up and running in minutes, not hours. Whether it is a sensor that has been configured to plug straight into the Blue Node with smart commissioning, or a tracker that has a simple Peel ‘n Stick application, each device has been designed with the user in mind.

Added to this, the breadth of the available sensors and trackers with associated reporting means that from one system, a farmer can get all the key reports he or she needs, in one place. This answers the challenge in the brief to create a system that made AgTech accessible and removed barriers to adoption.

Built using military grade batteries, and hardwearing materials, the products not only look aesthetically awesome, but have been designed to last in the rugged outdoor environments required by the use cases in this industry. From the packaging, to the sleek outer product casing to intuitive dashboards, the project aimed to create a remarkable end user experience from start to finish.

Project Innovation/Need

The project exceeded the brief through the development of curated ‘solutions’ such as the Rodent Detection System, Hay Bale degradation monitor and the Spray Advisory System. These solutions use various LX core products and third party sensors in a configuration designed to give reporting on specific ‘on-farm’ issues, with specialised widgets to act as a data visualisation for that particular configuration in the LX Incyt App.

Whilst each element in the product range works as a standalone item, their interoperability and LX’s full stack design approach ensures the range can adapt and grow to fit the changing needs of the modern farmer. This future proofs the range and means that by investing resource and capital into this system, the end user doesn't need to worry about it becoming obsolete.

A new outcome for the market is that LX a flexible range and equipment agnostic, so it provides multiple entry points into Agriculture technology that fit to an individual's experience level or investment ability. From a single node and sensor, they have the ability to build out a full smart farm whilst staying within one system.

Design Challenge

The design challenge came from really understanding the market's need; where the gaps were in existing offerings and what the barriers to adoption at scale were.

Through extensive discovery sessions and application of the Standford Design Thinking model, LX discovered that key drivers for the uptake of this type of system were increased productivity and profitability for the farmer. With these elements in mind, the team aimed to develop a range that helped farmers streamline manual processes, with reporting that was accessible from anywhere on their property, or even from 'off property' when they are travelling or away on holiday.

The goal was not to replace the experience and expertise of the farmer but to enhance their decision making through making additional data readily available. In order to do this, the team knew that hardware would need to be easy to install for the end user, quick to commission, last in the field and provide reporting in an intuitive form.

From the hardwearing casings, such as the Blue Node that is milled out of a solid block of aluminium, to a hybrid connectivity approach, to the smart sensor automated commissioning, the LX AgTech Product Ecosystem aimed to answer these needs.

Sustainability

The packaging for LX devices is cardboard and paper, so it’s designed to be recyclable. The products themselves are built to last, reducing the need for replacement and wastage.

The batteries in the Blue Node and Base station are refurbishable and LX offers a replacement battery service. This avoids users throwing away devices when the battery runs out.

Software in the devices can be updated over the air so they are designed to be future proof. The range has been developed to be able to grow with technology updates and the changing needs of the end user.

From an environmental perspective, the reporting provided by these products enables conservation of key resources such as water, which has a beneficial impact not only for the end user, but for the wider community. Taking this further, some of the 'applications' aim to reduce the risk of environmental issues such as pesticide spray drift, by providing the farmer with a real time advisory guide on spraying conditions.




This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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