Businessman invents solar-powered Wi-Fi system for farms
A Co Antrim businessman has developed new technology for the agricultural industry in Northern Ireland that could have major positive implications for the rest of the world.
Dr Aaron McConnell from Templepatrick set up IT company Vynomic in 2014 and has now developed a niche in agri Wi-Fi, which can provide internet access up to 25 miles away from the root source.
Dr McConnell's business was mentored by Causeway Enterprise Agency.
The technology operates via solar power - and a spokeswoman for the agency said it could have a wider application as it did not require electricity.
"Dr McConnell's invention could therefore also act as a vital resource further afield, such as in areas devastated by natural disasters, where communication infrastructures have been wiped out," she said.
Dr McConnell said his technology gave farmers "instant visual access to their farms and out-houses at any time".
He added: "The Wi-Fi supports high-definition cameras, which have multiple uses.
"For example, when cows and sheep are lambing, it can happen at any time of the day or night and if the cow gets into difficulties, there's a chance they might die.
"The farmer is usually out half the night checking on them but with the agri Wi-Fi-operated cameras, they can stay in their house.
"The cameras provide high-definition sound and night vision, and you can monitor them via your iPad or iPhone."