Saving, investing and making money with technology

Month: October 2016

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Robotic Agriculture: the battle between the Big and the Small IDTechEx

By Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, Research Director, IDTechEx

Agricultural robotics can upend several commonly-held notions. Amongst them is the idea that big is better. In practice this has translated into ever larger and more powerful agricultural machinery. This makes sense because a big machine amplifies the capabilities of the skilled driver, dramatically boosting its productivity. This notion may however be about to experience a fundamental change. The reason is that the driver can now finally be taken totally out of the equation.

The IDTechEx Research report “Agricultural Robots and Drones 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets, Players” develops a detailed roadmap of how robotic technology will enter into different aspects of agriculture, how it will change the way farming is done, how it becomes the future of agrochemicals business and how it will modify the way we design agricultural machinery.

This report provides detailed technology roadmaps, technology- and territory-segmented ten-year market forecasts, and comprehensive interview-based company profiles. Overall, IDTechEx Research forecasts that agricultural robots and drones will reach $12bn by 2026.

Tractors become fully autonomous

Agricultural vehicles have been at the forefront of developing and adopting autonomous navigation technology. Indeed, more than 320 k tractors equipped with autosteer or tractor guidance technology will be sold in 2016 alone, rising to 660 k/year in 2026. These tractors use RTK GPS technology to autonomously follow pre-planned paths with cm-level accuracy. This makes agriculture the largest adopter of autonomous navigation.

The industry is already evolving. Leading tractor companies worldwide have already demonstrated master-slave or ‘follow-me’ unmanned autonomous tractors or load carts. In these arrangements, a manned operator supervises the movement of the leader tractor with others following suite.

This technological evolution will further the notion that big is better because it enables further amplifying the productivity of the skilled driver via multiple slave or follower vehicles. This arrangement will find increasing use in large-scale crop field farming.

Fully and unmanned autonomous tractors will be the next evolutionary step. Multiple semi-commercial prototypes have already been demonstrated by leading agricultural machinery companies.

The technical challenges are largely resolved. Here, the tractor becomes equipped with a variety of overlapping sensors such as LIDAR, RADAR, and sonar to provide autonomous navigation in the absence of GPS signal together with collision avoidance.

Technology costs are currently high but the largest hurdles are to be found in the lagging regulatory framework and the farmers’ desire to stay in charge. These will all inevitable change particularly as the farming population further ages across the globe.

Overall, IDTechEx Research forecasts in “Agricultural Robots and Drones 2016-2026” that sales of fully autonomous tractors will start only from 2021/2022 onwards, reaching more than $200m in 2026.

Fig 1. Technology development towards fully autonomous tractors. Source: IDTechEx Research

Agricultural vehicles transfigured?

The advent of mobile agricultural robots will create the notion that small, light and slow is good. In this vision, few heavy, fast, large and manned tractors become replaced by, or complemented with, many light, slow, small and unmanned robots.

Here, the lightness means no soil compaction, thus increasing the useful land in each farm by as much as 3%, slowness means more attention paid to each plant therefore better data and more precise plant-specific action, and smallness potentially means low cost.

Cost is naturally a critical parameter here. This is because large and fast machines are more productive. This means that these new classes of agricultural robots will need to be lower cost by as much as 24 times to make economic sense. This requirement will limit mainstream adoption in the medium-term.

Fig 2. Transfiguration of agricultural machinery is underway. Source: IDTechEx Research with images from Kongskilde Industries, Conpleks Innovations, Dorhout R&D, Australian Centre for Field Robotics

This is a radical shift in the way we envisage agricultural vehicles. The emerging alternative vision is still in its infancy but the direction of development is clear. These are already hundreds of mobile agricultural robots in existence. With the exception of 50 or so small-sized ones, most are however still in the research or semi-commercial trial stage.

The costs are currently high too, mostly because such mobile robots requires multiple sensors to provide safety and autonomy even in the absence of GPS signals. The early evidence is that farmers do not yet trust them and indeed are not willing to pay extra. This means that some models are being stripped down to the bare minimum required with seemingly simple features such as even end-of-row navigation in orchards removed.

Technology immaturity sets the business model

The machines are still not completely reliable despite the technology, at the discreet component and software level, being ready and accessible. This manifests itself in the business models of many companies seeking to commercialize such or similar robots. They become service providers so that the farmers do not bear the entire risk burden and so that skilled operates run the show in case there is a technical fault causing downtime.

Farmers turn revolution into evolution

All these will change in the course of the coming decade. Despite being renowned for conservatism, farmers often do take in technology. This is evident in global statistics showing how output has grown despite falling employment in the agricultural sectors, which is partly due to the spread of mechanisation in farming. The real effect of this conservatism however is that potentially revolutionary technologies become evolutionary ones.

This new notion of swarms of unmanned robots will also be no exception. Here too the change will be gradual, both technologically and commercially. In fact, as the technology improves, the value proposition will have to be proved at every incremental step.

This is not yet done as only a few field trials have taken place and here the experimental clock is inevitably limited by harvest seasons, further slowing down the adoption process. Furthermore, many agricultural robots today work well in specially constructed environments, suggesting that perhaps full-scale adoption requires a modification in the way farms are laid out. This will proceed at painstakingly slow rates, further helping turn the revolution into an evolution.

To learn more about agricultural robots and drones and the future of farming read the IDTechEx report “Agricultural Robots and Drones 2016-2026: Technologies, Markets, Players” at Here, a detailed technology roadmap outlining how robotic technology will enter into different aspects of agriculture, detailed territory-segmented forecasts showing the market future of different agricultural robotic and drone technologies, and detailed interview-based profiles of leading players.

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research and Events services, helping you profit from emerging technologies. We provide independent research, business intelligence and advice to companies across the value chain based on our core research activities and methodologies providing data sought by business leaders, strategists and emerging technology scouts to aid their business decisions.

Learn more at and to discuss your needs please contact us on

IDTechEx Research Subscriptions

Subscription services allow you to access a wide range of our technology and market research on a given topic or across topics, providing you with unlimited access to new related content throughout the subscription period at tremendous value.

Explore our subscription packages or to discuss your specific needs please email

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Common Misconceptions about PDF Software

Nothing is quite as outdated in the modern office than traditional, paper copies. As a result, the majority of offices have opted to move to digital document management – in fact, most of them made this move several years ago. A solution that many offices turned to was edit your pdf software. However, even though this type of software has been proven as effective and reliable application for the creation of digital documents, there are still a number of misconceptions regarding this software option.

Free Alternatives are Offered

Even though there are a number of free options out there that will allow you to print to the actual PDF format, and the majority of commonly used word processing applications offer this, as well, they are no substitution for quality, PDF software.

With the right PDF software, you will be able to:

* Edit the layout, images and text used on the document

* Create various documents with collaboration

* Create various forms that readers are able to fill out

* Chance the layout of the document

* Create documents that are able to be digitally signed by users

These are just a few of the features offered by PDF software.

The Cost of PDF Software is High

The various free alternatives that are available can work to allow you to create a PDF document where the text is unable to be changed by the majority of users; however, this is where all the similarities end.

When compared to the costs that go along with corporate level word processing software packages, the cost of PDF applications are often much, much lower. Even if it is purchased individually, the price of the PDF software solution is likely going to be less than some of the most common word processors.  Even though it may not have all the features of other programs, PDF software can handle the core work of desktop publishing suites and word processors. This means that you only have one application to buy, continue to manage and continue to train users on.

As you can see, there are a number of misconceptions about PDF software that simply aren’t true. When you get to know the truth, you can easily see why this software may be beneficial for your particular needs. Make sure to browse the various options that are available to make sure that the right option is found and used. Doing this will result in the best possible results for the business issues that you are facing.

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Curated content platform for technology professionals reaches milestone 250,000 views


Premium video site, ButtondownTV, which delivers technology professionals inspirational and innovative clips from across the web has reached a quarter of a million views. ButtondownTV makes it easy for technology experts to stay up to date with key trends by hosting the latest high quality industry-relevant videos.

Every week ButtondownTV viewers can find handpicked videos highlighting the latest advances and major launches in mobile development, virtual reality, wearables, gaming and robotics.

ButtondownTV is an invaluable resource for sourcing creative and insightful content; the most popular videos on ButtondownTV reflecting wider technology trends, with Virtual and Augmented Reality currently amongst the most searched for areas.

Kirk Bennett, Director of ButtondownTV, said, “Keeping pace with the latest developments in the technology sector can be a challenge. Staying alert to the latest trends isn’t just important for technology professionals, it is important for everyone as the sector influences such a wide range of industries, from Health to Retail and can have a truly transformative impact. ButtondownTV gives global technology and creative teams access to the best videos on one easy-to-view platform, saving them precious time to find innovative, inspirational content.”

ButtondownTV is home to hundreds of the highest quality curated videos, across a variety of sectors, which have now been viewed over 250,000 times. New videos are uploaded every week and through its engaged social media community, ButtondownTV allows technology professionals to connect, subscribe and comment on highlighted content. Content selected to feature on the unique platform benefits from multichannel social media promotion, allowing businesses and content creators to reach a wider and targeted audience.

To find out more visit or follow at:

About ButtondownTV

ButtondownTV is home to the best videos on the web, handpicked from blogs, premium video sharing sites, social media and creative communities to ensure that is it current and relevant. Covering a wide range of sectors including creative, technology, travel, luxury, health and more, ButtondownTV is the first stop for inspirational technology content.


Dakota Digital for ButtondownTV

Press contact: Charlotte Malone


Tel UK: 01623 428996

Tel US: 917-720-3025

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How to Convert Business Videos To Be Compatible on Different Devices with Movavi Video Converter

One of the prerequisites of distributing business videos between colleagues or to clients is that you will need to be able to ensure they’re compatible with other devices. After all there’s no point sending an important video to someone if they aren’t able to view it on the device that they’re using.

The problem with trying to convert business videos so that they’re compatible with different devices is in figuring out what formats (or codecs) to use. Because every device out there tends to have different quirks when it comes to compatibility, it can be confusing and tedious.

To make things a lot easier, you should try out Movavi Video Converter. True to its name it is a video converter – but the reason it stands out is how easy it will make converting your business videos to be compatible with various devices.

If you want to use Movavi Video Converter as a basic video format converter you only need to add the video, choose a format, and click ‘Convert’. Assuming you’re not sure which format to use however, you don’t need to look it up – and can rely on the hundreds of presets that are available for different devices and platforms.

When you select any of these presets, Movavi Video Converter will automatically utilize the best possible video format and settings. As such you’ll be able to know for sure that your business video will be converted to a format that is compatible for that device.

Although that is really more than enough of a reason to use Movavi Video Converter, the fact of the matter is that it also has numerous other features that may pique your interest. It can create animated GIFs, grab screenshots, extract audio tracks, adjust sound levels, or edit videos to enhance their quality, cut and join video segments, insert personalized text fields, and crop or rotate the video frame.

Add to that the fact that Movavi Video Converter is also fully capable of converting image and audio files and you should be able to see just how powerful the software truly is. In short it can help you to do far more than simply make sure your business videos are compatible with various devices, and will give you the means to prepare, improve and optimize how you use them.

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Saphibeat Technologies Launches Kickstarter Campaign for PhiPal

PhiPAL is Game Changer for Sports Enthusiasts, Boosting Safety and Augmenting the Outdoor Experience with Real-Time Performance Data

Redwood City, CA – October 18, 2016SAPHIBEAT Technologies , a Silicon Valley-based startup focused on developing leading-edge technologies for wearable safety devices, today announced the launch of its Kickstarter campaign or PhiPal A game-changing adventure monitor that can recognnize if the user has suffered a serious accident, PhiPAL is a product platform that uses an activity monitor mounted on a sports helmetPhiPAL works by providing real-time performance data that can be used for tracking the user and social sharing, and can automatically call for help in the event of an accident, no matter where or when.

PhiPAL was developed by SAPHIBEAT co-founders Carlo Ciaramelletti, a technologist and futurist with a deep understanding of the intersection of technology and business, and Marco Cavalli, an experienced engineer pushing innovation and technology to improve how people live, work and play.

With its proprietary machine-learning algorithm for accident recognition, PhiPAL provides a much-needed solution that can save lives of outdoor enthusiasts by recognizing when an accident has taken place. If the user is unconscious, PhiPAL automatically requests help, contacting teammates and first responders through a cellular phone or satellite connection. In normal mode, PhiPAL can augment the user experience through features such as performance 3D visualization, tracking and challenges.

“Announcing the launch of our Kickstarter campaign today is the culmination of two years of research and development,” said Carlo Ciaramelletti, co-founder. “The idea of PhiPAL came as a result of a ski accident in 2012 when I was skiing in Italy. I was fortunate to make it home safely, but shortly after my accident, another skier crashed in the same area. The day after, he was found dead. No one could find him because nobody knew what happened and where he was. Today we have the technology to make the best use of the ‘golden hour,’ that time after an accident when even one minute can make the difference between a tragedy and just an accident to remember. By changing how we use technology to save people’s lives, we believe that the platform is a valuable companion for any sports activity that requires the use of a helmet.”

Approximately one million people each year are hospitalized as a result of injuries from outdoor sports. Technology has evolved to provide users with a light, portable and enduring solution. PhiPAL is not designed to prevent accidents, but rather, to reduce the risk of an accident from becoming a tragedy, and in today’s world, it has many applications, from the individual sports enthusiast to team sports to first responders. PhiPAL is essentially the GoPro of safety for outdoor sports.

With PhiPAL, users can:

  •       Automatically contact first responders thought multiple communication channels
  •       Ensure access to prolonged, sustainable power through advanced power management technologies
  •       Integrate tracking dynamics to help improve performance
  •       Log into an Adventure Planner to discover new trails experienced by other outdoor adventurers
  •       Create and share trails of anticipated routes and send progress notifications to teammates, family and friends
  •       Fit PhiPAL on multiple outdoor sports helmets

To back SAPHIBEAT on their Kickstarter page, visit


SAPHIBEAT Technologies is a Silicon Valley based startup company focused on developing leading edge technologies targeted to be used in Wearable Safety Devices. Its first technology vector to market is the PhiPAL, a platform that, using an activity monitor mounted on or integrated into Outdoor Sports Helmets, provides a health of data for performance tracking and social sharing, but more critically, in case of an accident, it’s capable to recognize the event and, if the user is unconscious, ask for help to teammates or first responders through a cellular phone or a satellite connection.. For more information go to

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How to negotiate prices

Many people are unaware of how many services and products have prices that can be negotiated. From cars to rent and other products and services, there is usually some wiggle room in the price. Finding a way to score great deals is a great way to save money, and avoid paying unnecessary and high rates. Here are a few tips to getting yourself the best deal.

Study up

Knowing your facts about the product or service you’re looking for a discount on is first and foremost. Do your best to understand the reasonable value of the item in the  market. You can do your research online, by calling competitors, or by looking up what others have paid for the same item.

Prior to negotiating it’s important to understand what you can get that item for elsewhere, and if you’re already getting a good deal. It’s important to come to the meeting, or sales place with solid, reliable information on hand so that you can use that to get a fair price.

Look for sales, coupons, and out of season prices

Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment, buy new furniture, or invest in the latest beauty trend, there are often times that those items go on sale, offer discounts, or have great deals. Do a search online for coupons, off-season times for items, and other discounts.

Often times certain products will go on sale during certain times of the year, meaning if you wait a month or two then you could snag an even greater deal. If you’re in need of the item right away, ask for the discount to be applied now and you may walk away with a steal of a deal without waiting for the coupon.

Know your limit

A great negotiation tool is knowing when to walk away. Often times when a salesperson doesn’t believe you’ll walk away, they’ll continue to push to get you to spend more; but once you walk away the the idea of a lost sale becomes a reality, you’ll see a change in the salesman immediately.

Decide on your limit before you go into your negotiation, and be willing to walk away if you’re not getting what you want. If you show the other party that you’re serious, have done your research, and will not pay for more than what you believe the product or service is worth, then you’ll show them that you’re serious, and won’t take less than what you expect.

Negotiating can be uncomfortable, and may end up in you walking away from a service or product that’s overpriced; but trust in the research you’ve done and be willing to value your hard earned money enough to leave anything overpriced behind. Stick to your guns and you’re sure to save yourself money in the long run.

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Do you want to buy essay cheap? It’s not a problem!

Nobody wants to buy essays expensive, so there is a deal!

Here you will find some advices to succeed in your studies in general and with essay writing in particular. Numerous services with affordable prices exist nowadays in abundance; however, you should know how to choose the right one.

How will the help with essay writing benefit for your success?


Essay writing is an exciting and interesting process, which expresses the creative and mental qualities of the student. But each person is individuality, and we may not be all equally compared. Don’t be despaired if you can’t perform this job well – not all have the same abilities. Perhaps you are a talented manager, engineer or future entrepreneur, and essay writing will not be so essential in your future career. There are talented writers, who can make excellent essays for you while you will care about developing your skills in another sphere.

You have already decided that you don’t want or you don’t like to write the essay yourself. The next step would be choosing professional custom paper service to buy essays cheap.


1. The author should face a particular problem or question in a narrow focus.
2. The writers should express their own experiences and views on the proposed topics.
3. Perfect essay has a high degree of subjectivity, because of an individual judgment and vision; essay writing can possess a philosophical or even fictional character.
4. The content of the essay is the most valuable – the author’s identity, an expression of his outlook, thoughts and feelings, that is what highly appreciated.

Essay writing nowadays is the most popular type of works to order
Not surprisingly that it can help you a lot. The professional writers can start with writing an admission essay for you, provide help throughout your studies or when applying for internship or scholarship, and till writing a cover letter for you when you want to get a job.
Professional writers assist of a huge number of students, because they express the thoughts in such a way that they become clear, they present well the topic in details.

Rules for writing an essay are simple, but often problematic

Consider that the work can be successful with the right structure. Introduction and conclusion should be accurate, concise and focused on the main problem. In the body of a paper, you need to be sure that the paragraphs are logically linked.

Essay writing will only be successful when the integrity of the work is achieved. Not sure if you can do it? Turn to professionals! You essays will always cost cheap for you if you publish the task beforehand!

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What Factors Affect FD Interest Rates? 

Before investing in a Fixed Deposit, take a look at factors that affect FD interest rates. This will help you find the best Fixed Deposit rates for your investment.

Fixed Deposit is one of the most popular investment vehicles in India. It pays higher interest rates than savings accounts, and comes with low risks and guaranteed returns. This is why traditionally most people choose to park their savings in FDs.

If you are planning on investing your savings in a Fixed Deposit scheme, it is important that you take a look at the factors that effect on the FD interest rates. This will help you do a Fixed Deposit interest rates comparison between different banks, so that you can narrow down on the one that gives you the highest returns.

Here is a look at some of the factors and schemes that have an effect on Fixed Deposit rates:


Perhaps the most common mistake that people make when getting a FD is to not look at the current rate of inflation.

Always remember that inflation is inversely proportional to the Fixed Deposit interest rate. So if inflation is on the rise, you will get less interest. Since you also pay a tax on your FD returns, you must calculate the total earnings you will make from the deposit, and then subtract the inflation and taxes. This will give you the real value of your FD returns.

About 18 months ago, the interest rate on FD was about 9%. This has fallen to about 7.5% in recent times. This is because inflation has increased. Therefore, before making an investment, study the current economic environment. For instance, delaying your FD a few months can get you better returns, as there may be a possibility of a dip in the inflation rate.

Special Schemes for Minors

If you are hoping to save to secure your child’s future, getting a Fixed Deposit for them is a great idea. FDs for minors require a parent or guardian to invest the money on behalf of the minor, and be in charge of the account till they turn 18.

So why would you choose this over a regular FD? Banks often offer special schemes for children, particularly the girl child. Usually the interest rates offered are higher than normal FDs. Making a one-time investment in such a financial instrument can help secure your child’s college education.

So start as soon as possible, so that you can give your child a brighten and secure future.

Higher FD Interest Rates for Senior Citizens

If you are over 60, you can opt for a Fixed Deposit designed specifically for senior citizens. Senior citizens usually get higher Fixed Deposit rates in India than others, thereby ensuring that your earnings are higher when compared to a regular FD. You also have the option to withdraw the interest generated on a monthly basis.

This gives you a constant source of income every month, much like a salary. Furthermore, you are also eligible for tax deductions under section 80C of the IT Act.

For youngsters who can’t avail this scheme themselves, as they are below the age of 60, they should tell their parents about this investment scheme. Fixed Deposits not only provide financial benefits, but also give peace of mind.

As you can see, there are different factors that influence the rate of interest for a Fixed Deposit. It may be inflation, age, taxes etc. When you plan to invest your savings, always remember that it is of uttermost importance to scout around different banks and financial institutions to learn about their interest rates, schemes, and more. This will help you figure out which organization gives you the best returns. You can then invest your hard-earned money here, and be assured that your investment is in safe hands.

Continue Reading :The Premier Place To Buy Discount Prescription Eyeglasses and Sun Glasses    

If you wear glasses and if you’re looking to buy a pair of glasses go to and check out the fabulous glasses there. is the best place to shop online, if you are looking for really great eye glasses and sun glasses.
Their mission is to guarantee that you get the highest quality optical products at the most affordable prices in the fastest time span possible and mainly all across the world. At they will guarantee that their customers will get the highest quality prescription eyeglasses and at the most affordable prices.

From the very beginning their first lab in 2008, they have crafted millions of lenses. Ranging from single vision to complex ultra-thin lenses for high prescriptions, their dedicated team of optical experts, craftsmen and production workers continue to bang them out with utmost precision.

Their 7500 Sqft state-of-the-art lab is equipped with among the most modern optic equipment in the industry.

They have partnered with the very best laboratories in the industry to try and save money for each and everyone of their customers and on every order that they receive. They want to make sure that you get the best eyewear products in the fastest time possible! Because you shouldn’t have to wait for your eyeglasses frames. With a variety of shipping methods you can choose the shipping method that you think is the best for you.
There is an excellent team behind and they really pride themselves on conducting business the right way and that’s with honesty and integrity. They do great work for their customers all of the time they take your vision needs very seriously. They have trained associates that will provide you with professionally and accurate answers for all of your prescription eyeglasses needs and because they want to be the only place you buy your custom made glasses! is built first and foremost on the great service we provide our customers; understanding that with their trust comes great responsibility.

They mostly hire college graduates who have an outgoing personality, a commitment to service and of course, a passion for glasses. And also they are a bit biased and tend to hire people who actually wear glasses as well. The most important thing is , the customer service crew sits with them, right there in-house and not in some other country.

Their average response time to a call is less than 10 seconds and email response time is less than 24 hours.

And after just one order, you will really see why people are saying is truly the premier place to buy discount prescription eyeglasses online. I would definitely recommend to anyone who are looking to buy eyeglasses online.
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