Wifi Enabled Sheep, Reindeer Could Bring Internet Access to Rural Areas

Real talk: I didn't realize that this picture was sad until I'd already embedded it, I'm so sorry.

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Get with the times Wallace. With that many sheep around you could be reading about Gromit’s life sentence on a tablet. Much less palatable to hungry (and sad) sheep.

The Atlantic has covered an interesting trend in technology professionals and scientists who are trying to extend the networked world further into rural communities, and it involves some of the greatest dreams of android-kind: electric sheep.

Here is an actual quote from a professor from Lancaster University, who specializes in distributed systems: “Sheep can be connected to the Internet or a portion of a river or a tree.”

Okay, so what he means is that sheep collars can easily be made into wifi hotspots, or into small sensors that, in a distributed network across the herd, could monitor pollution for environmental scientists, weather for meteorologists, or herd movements for farmers who want an alert if a dog attacks. But that’s still an amazing sentence.

Additionally, a group of internet-enabled herd animals could be a means of connection to the outside world for nomadic herders. Such solutions have actually been tested with the cooperation of the native Sámi women who make their living herding reindeer in Northern Scandinavia, where the remote, mountainous, environmentally protected terrain makes it difficult to, for example, establish and maintain cell towers.

You can read the whole article here.

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