The team behind the Herdwatch app have found a solution to the farmer’s challenge of using a smartphone even when their hands are very mucky.
The answer is a hi-tech voice assistant which allows thousands of farmers to virtually listen to what their cows want, on their phone.
It is one of the new features in Herdwatch Version 4, which is designed to include the new features most requested in customer feedback received by the Herdwatch team.
The voice assistant comes as part of the new Herdwatch Watchboard, which is described as having the farm’s whiteboard or noticeboard in your pocket, showing (in one place) every job that needs attention, and tracking items like cows due to repeat, cows calving soon, animals in withdrawal, and planned jobs.
Useful software on phones increasingly includes enabling voice input to command the device, and Herdwatch has latched on to this latest trend.
As the app team tactfully points out, farmers frequently have to multitask, and for obvious reasons, they don’t always have the cleanest of hands which are best for working with a smartphone.
Operating a smartphone can be a little tricky for a farmers in the middle of a messy farmyard job, and Herdwatch’s solution is that farmers can simply activate their new voice assistant with one tap on the phone.
This enables farmers get an overview of all their jobs, breeding alerts and other important notifications directly through their phone speaker, using the new Herdwatch Watchboard.
The Herdwatch app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, for herd management and compliance with animal welfare and traceability regulations, without burdensome paperwork. Currently, 5,500 customers in Ireland use it.
Version 4 is available free to the 5,500 already using the app. It includes an ICBF Button, allowing farmers look up their animals’ EBI and Star ratings directly. Version 4 also has a Batch Serves and Heat Observations section, for multiple cows.
When serving four or five cows with the same bull, farmers will only need to create a single serve record.
Version 4 has in-app training, tutorials to guide users through the main features of Herdwatch, step by step.
Fabien Peyaud, CEO of Herdwatch, said early feedback indicates farmers are very happy with the new features.
User Niall O’Callaghan, Heathfield Farms, Limerick said; “This new watchboard is a game changer. Before, we were trying to record everything on the whiteboard in the dairy, and then trying to set reminders on our phones.
Now we just put everything into Herdwatch, and we have all the info in one spot with in-app reminders, and the info syncs to all our phones and tablets.
As well as that, before we used to always go onto the laptop to access info on ICBF, now it’s all in the app, and I don’t even need to type in the tag number of the animal I’m looking for.”