Startup Intros NB-IoT Cow Capsule, Inks Deal With TDC

What's going on inside a cow? Now you can find out, thanks to the launch of an NB-IoT biocapsule that can be swallowed by the bovines to provide data about the animals to farmers.

A South Korean livestock healthcare management startup, uLikeKorea, says it is launching the digestible NB-IoT biocapsule and that it will initially start testing out in the first half of 2020.

The Seoul-based startup's IoT capsule can collect data such as body temperature from within the cow's guts to detect diseases. Farmers using the biocapsule can access the information in real time on uLikeKorea's LiveCare platform on their computer or phone.

The startup said on Friday that it will partner with TDC, Denmark's largest telecommunications company, to launch the biocapsule in Europe. It will also launch its European offices and the LiveCare platform on the continent with TDC.

The startup originally developed the LiveCare agricultural management system with South Korean carrier SK Telecom.

Why this matters
In the last couple of years, connected cows have become a hot IoT item, with agribusinesses using NB-IoT collars and other trackers. NB-IoT sensors report back on the location and wellbeing of the herd. When a diseased animal has been in contact with other cows, the technology is ideal for reporting on the slow-moving animals. The digestible module is the latest development in monitoring the health of cows.

Cows are big business. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that there are 94.8 million of them in the US, as of 2019. There are 22.9 million dairy cows in Europe as of 2018, according to the EU. European, US and Asian carriers have become interested in IoT deals with agribusinesses.

More digestible biocapsules for other livestock animals, like sheep and pigs, are expected to arrive on the market shortly.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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