World’s first digital ram at Bendigo meets his real world forerunner

Terry Sim, July 22, 2019

THE world’s first augmented reality Merino ram sale took its first steps on the show ring floor at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show yesterday.

Think Digital’s Tim Gentle said the demonstration of augmented reality involved creating a movable digital replica of a Langdene Merino ram and then bringing it together with the actual ram at the Bendigo show.

He said stud principal Garry Cox and his Merino ram got together with Think Digital’s developers to measure and photograph his fine wool ram and create the digital ram some weeks ago.

“We created the world’s first augmented reality Merino ram today here and we’ve been showcasing it here at the sheep show,” Tim said.

He said the AR technology is available on a mobile phone or in an Augmented Reality wearable (headset).

“So you could do this from the comfort of your own home.

“Just imagine opening up a sale catalogue and bang – the ram appears on your dining room table,” he said.

“You can walk around and have a look at its size and feet.

“We can make an informed decision about whether we want to attend the ram sale or, with AuctionsPlus, we could actually buy that ram digitally as well.”

Charlotte Cox, 9, watches the digital ram on a mobile phone while her father discusses the AR technology with Think Digital’s Tim Gentle.

Tim said technology is moving so fast that the tyranny of distance won’t exist.

“You won’t necessarily have to travel two days to a ram sale to buy a ram.”

Mr Cox said the AR demonstration was a good start.

“It’s only early days, but it is well underway.”

He saw potential in clients being able to see an accurate digital image of a sale ram before or during a sale.

Although it could not replace a physical examination of a ram, Landmark Jackson’s Ted Wilson said the technology might have value for clients who have inspected a ram prior to a sale and then can look at the AR image on sale day.

“It could help really jog their memory of what the animal is like as pre-sale tool or on sale day.”

The digital ram, at right, with Think Digital’s Tim Gentle in the AR headset and breeder Garry Cox discuss the technology.

Tim said augmented reality could revolutionise the way we buy livestock, “or anything for that matter”.

“You can beam rams, bulls, tractors into your living room, this helps you to get a really good feel for make up on the animal in real life.

“Instead of just viewing livestock via a 2D photo or video on youtube, you can use your mobile phone, or a pair of AR wearables like those that were on show at the sheep show.”

Tim said FarmAR is the latest platform of Think Digital, which is prototyping with AR in a number of agricultural industries for marketing, education and production applications.

Tim and his team, travelled up to Langdene stud in Dunedoo to meet up with Garry the stud Merino owner and Elders livestock manager Paul Jameson, to take some photos, and video of the ram and then set to work rebuilding the ram as an interactive three-dimensional object. This can then be used in virtual reality and augmented reality applications. Readers can check out the ram by downloading FarmAR in Google Play or Appstore.


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