Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Nadine Walther, SpexAI

Using multispectral imaging and AI to get unique plant-level insights

"We're using multispectral imaging to let the grower see beyond human vision. The patented camera system takes the pictures, after which AI analyzes the images. By monitoring your cannabis plants 24/7, our technology delivers real-time data on cannabinoids, diseases, pests and more," explains Nadine Walther. Together with her partner Ben Niehaus, Nadine founded the company SpexAI. "We realized the cannabis market needed a solution like this: technology that helps growers cultivate crops on a very high level."

Nadine Walther and Ben Niehaus

Advanced measurements
Nadine explains that SpexAI is different from other computer vision companies out there. "None of them use spectral imaging the way we do," Nadine says. "The advantage of spectral imaging is that you can measure the chemical profile, and it can even see diseases 10-14 days before a human can. Measuring cannabinoids is often done using a destructive method, by taking a sample. Oftentimes, that technology doesn't work with wet flower. Our system is designed to measure everything fully autonomously, with no harm done to the plants. You can ask Odin for the current cannabinoid content of all your plants and get a forecast for the future. It will become as natural as asking Alexa for tomorrow's weather."

Getting help with detecting pests and diseases is something most cannabis growers probably wouldn't say no to. "However, it's important to know that we don't have a magical tool that can see everything. Lots of pests are underneath the plants or leaves. Our system can see beyond human vision, but it does capture from above. Still, when it comes to diseases, it is a major benefit that signs can be spotted up to 2 weeks in advance, as time is of course of the essence in those cases. We already have results for Botrytis, Powdery Mildew, and Hop Latent Viroid. The last one is probably the biggest problem for cannabis growers at the moment. Therefore, we're conducting research with StateHouse on detecting Hop Latent Viroid before it destroys everything."

"Putting all the information together, the SpexAI system gives growers access to comprehensive information, enabling data-driven decisions and achieving the best results possible," Nadine adds.

Bringing mythology to cannabis
In Norse mythology, Odin is the god of knowledge and wisdom, among other things. His two ravens, Hugin and Munin, fly around the world each day to bring Odin all the global news. This inspired SpexAI: Hugin is the camera system, which brings the grower all the information. Odin, the AI platform, then has all the wisdom ready: plant-level insights in real-time.

The system's knowledge has already been brought to several growers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. "Our company is deeply rooted in scientific inquiry. We believe that our unique approach sets us apart—we're not just riding the AI hype. We stem from an agricultural perspective, applying advanced technology to support growers. We're aiming to bring our solutions to market within the next 6-9 months," Nadine says.

So far, the response from the first growers has been very positive. "The main response is that this is the future and that spectral imaging will be as inevitable as LED lights. So far, all the growers who have tried it, want to have it fully equipped and keep it."

While the company is now focusing on the cannabis market, it is also researching other crops. "We're interested in the potential of strawberries. They have a short shelf life, and growers are dealing with the energy crisis. Therefore, there is a need to have a high-yield and quality harvest, whilst reducing losses. We believe our system's insights can help growers achieve that."

For more information: