Last year's October, Mike Lee was interviewed to share more about his company Oasis-X, a secure automation platform that aims to put farmers and growers in control. This Fall, one year later, they are launching a new product. Mike updates us on what’s new.
“Our main aim was to make our products more grower-friendly. We found our first approach too narrow and decided to meet people in the ways they were already growing. For that reason, we’ve added a hand-held scanner that helps growers with identifying problems, along with several other features.”
Oasis-X offers both hardware and software solutions. Their hardware solutions are weatherproof smart farming modules for indoor and outdoor use that can be used both inside a growing facility and outside. “We have devices in the pipeline that can conduct environmental measurements and intelligently control electrical equipment in response, as well as collect and analyze valuable data, such as crop images in light spectra that are normally invisible to the human eye.”
Mike H. Lee, Co-Founder & CEO, and Aviel J. Stein, Co-Founder.
The first hardware that will be made available for purchase online is a simple, indoor version of the AI and infrared camera modules, which come with all necessary software installed and configured for your order, ready to set up and start monitoring. It can be managed through the app and expanded with sensors.
Their software solution is an app that links growers to a database where they can remotely view their systems and upload findings in order to create a database of free, accessible information. “The idea is that we want to make it easier to plan things, ultimately improving growing experiences and outcomes. It should be more feasible to find information that is directly relevant to what you’re trying to do.” Along with the app, Oasis-X will be offering consulting services for custom technology installations.
“Our platform has evolved considerably. In addition to existing automation tools & services, we are now meeting growers where they are, augmenting how they already grow by supplying critical information obtained through scanners, calculators, and other easy-to-use planning tools. We hope to be launching soon with some built-in tools for diagnostics, planting timelines, and weather forecasting”, Mike adds.
The Oasis-X team has grown since last year. From two, they’ve grown to five people in total. “One of us is doing outreach and interviews with growers in the area to understand their needs. Another AI scientist has joined us as well, who is helping us create the tools that growers will use to turn measurements and other data into useful knowledge which drives decisions.”
Right now, the company is carrying out paid pilots for B2B customers, with several deployments and live demos scheduled over the coming months. Their primary aim at the moment is small-to-medium-sized farms in Philadelphia and the surrounding area because they believe in a local approach, at least for the more complex hardware installations and services. The software will be available overseas as well. “We want to deliver consultancy services and new hardware locally, as we believe that face-to-face contact is essential for groups with more complex requirements,” Mike explains. “However, because software can be rapidly delivered to nearly anywhere in the world, it makes sense to have some of those tools available to everyone, especially if they are immediately useful. We will also be shipping the first production iterations of our low-power indoor and outdoor smart farming modules to customers in the US, Japan, the UK, and the Netherlands.
“We’re mostly focusing on those smaller-scale urban and surrounding farms, although any grower with a viable garden, field, or even closet can visualize and more easily manage what they already have. Pennsylvania is one of the more productive agricultural states in the US, with top rankings in horticulture, mushroom cultivation, beekeeping, fruit, corn, and dairy industries. It makes sense why. Philadelphia is frequently cited as one of the best US cities for food enthusiasts.
Timing is key
“At Oasis-X, we find that growing, whether it is open-field farming or urban farming, fundamentally comes down to timing. Timing, being precise, almost in a factory-like manner with different products in different stages of “manufacturing,” in this case, plant or crop growth. That’s why we want to give growers more planning tools.”
The base of all the tools is free to use, and they have an open-source community. It is both a resource and an educational tool; people can learn how to build a smart farming set-up for their own benefit or teach others about how they work by visualizing a live system in real time. However, there will also be premium features that make sense for larger organizations with more complexity to manage. This also applies to the hardware that Oasis-X will be selling soon. ‘Our cameras are available at several price points, starting at $150-250 already for customers who contact us directly. However, we find it essential that community gardens and home growers can build DIY versions for their own use as well,” Mike concludes.
More updates will follow this Fall and Winter when their products become available to the public.
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