J. Matthew Pryor


CEO at Observant, Experienced entrepreneur

An experienced entrepreneur, Matthew has operated at senior levels for information technology firms in Australia and the USA. After 6 years in San Francisco which included the rapid growth and eventual acquisition of Verve, a company he co-founded, Matthew returned to Australia. After stints with several US owned technology companies, Matthew joined the investors at Observant, eventually taking on the role of CEO. Observant is helping to reshape the future of agribusiness. Leveraging cloud based infrastructure with custom designed, solar powered, autonomous devices. Its product C3, won an Australian International Design Award 2013 & 2012 Irrigation Australia New Product/Innovation Award. It a flexible monitoring & control platform to drive improvements in water & energy efficiency in agriculture. It can be configured for modular operations or complete stand-alone operations when paired with Observant’s robust, tamper and vandal proof solar enclosure. Observant does IoT for the real world – dusty, hot & remote.

YOW! Connected 2014 Melbourne

Building an Internet of Farming Things


Building an Internet of Things for Agriculture presents unique challenges that don’t exist in many other domains. The typical agricultural environment is not friendly to electronics, lacks traditional infrastructure such as readily available power and ubiquitous network access. And yet, pervasive monitoring and control combined with cloud based applications and big data analytics offers productivity gains that our world-wide agricultural production systems desperately need. In order to move beyond the enthusiast scale, and deliver these benefits at large scale a business has to move beyond the maker model, and deliver scalable, robust systems that can survive in all manner of environmental conditions, delivering predictable & reliable results.

This talk will cover a wide range of technical areas, all of which have been brought together to provide solutions to dramatically improve water and energy use efficiency in agricultural enterprises in Australia and the USA:

  • embedded low-power hardware design
  • firmware development and over-the-air upgrades
  • ad-hoc, multi-radio networks for low power operation
  • in-field sensing & data collection methodologies
  • large geographic scale data aggregation
  • cloud based data warehousing and analytics

Attendees will leave the talk with a real sense of what is required to deliver an Internet of Things borne out of real world experience from a Melbourne based company that has a track record of delivering solutions in this space for many years.