Joel Vincent

Technology. Wine. Family. (maybe not in that order)

How high tech is wine?

Of course everyone by now has heard of the “talking wine label” so we know that wineries are getting up there on the technology curve.  I ran across a very interesting (well, to a Silicon Valley based wine lover, interesting to me) development by a company appropriately called Grape Networks.  It turns out that Grape Networks is helping produce better wines through better technology.  They developed a sensor mesh network, nick-named Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) which can sense temperature, moisture, light, metals, chemicals and other physical measurements of a vineyard and send it back to a central management station for analysis.

Using this information, the vineyard owner can monitor the crops on a much finer level than even today’s precision agriculture techniques.   At Beringer, in their vineyards are small battery powered nodes, often referred to as motes, to improve the yield and quality of crops by communicating temperature and light information between each mote, with built-in radios, for monitoring anywhere in the world via the Internet.

Up next?  Trickled-down from DoD work, this company is promising to

improve wine even further by planning a Predator Drone that can act based on the information in the network, fly over the area to take a closer look, and maybe fire a couple missles in a precision strike on some unsuspecting Crows perhaps?  Freaky (seriously, they’re thinking about adapting the Predator Drone as well).

Technology for better wine?  Why didn’t I think of this?

Enjoy the Wine Life!

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