2nd Sight Video Blog

If a Picture is Worth 1000 Words, then a Video is Worth… A Lot.

The pandemic has emphasized the need for most, if not all businesses to have a strong online presence. Would I be able to find your farm, orchard, nursery, or greenhouse online? Do you have a website? Facebook page? Twitter account? With so many online channels from which to choose, it can be overwhelming to keep up. However, a blog post from Jain Irrigation, a video posted by one of our nursery customers, Foothills Nurseries, and a virtual tour of J Frank Schmidt & Son Co. all reminded me that video is an important tool to help tell a story.

Even if your farm has a one-page website and Facebook page (both of which are now quite easy to create and manage), you can upload and post pictures and videos. I look around to see what our customers and other ag tech suppliers are doing to tell their stories. Consumers not only want to know what you do, but who you are, and why you are doing it.

The Jain Irrigation blog post, “A 5 Point Checklist to Shoot Better Video” is an easy read that can get you going in the right direction if you are looking to grow your online video content. Start capturing who you are, what you are doing, and why you continue to choose the honorable profession of feeding the country, and for some, the world. Through video, you can explain and show how your nursery plays an important role in making neighborhoods, parks, and cities beautiful and green. Invest some time and money into this type of marketing because online is the new marketplace. Consumers and buyers start with the internet so you must create a good first impression for your future customers with your content.

Through the pandemic, we have found a couple of additional helpful tools to generate more video. Wideo is an online software platform that provides video templates. Is is as simple as selecting a template and plugging in your colors, pictures, and text. Wideo offers free and paid plans that help you produce professional-quality video quickly at a great price. Here are sample Wideo’s we created that explain our Pay by Weight, Pay by Piece, and Pay by Time electronic labor tracking solutions.

Many of you have joined at least one Zoom call over the last week, or maybe at least one call already today. Recording Zoom sessions is another easy way to capture product demos, speakers, interviews, and screen sharing. It is easy to convert the recording, save, and upload the video to your preferred platforms.

And finally, another great tool we discovered at 2nd Sight is Adobe Premiere Rush. For more experienced video editors, Adobe Premiere offers feature-rich software for video creation and editing. For the less experienced, or those who are simply in a time crunch, Adobe Premiere Rush is a perfect program that simplifies the video creation and editing process.

When I come across a really good product or company video, I remember it. When a farm has a nice website that not only says what they are doing, but why they are farming, I remember it (Bow Hill Blueberries and Major League Blueberries are a couple of blueberry farms and our customers that have done a great job at this). Marketing is all about top-of-mind awareness. Today, we all have the tool right in our pockets to start capturing pictures and video. It’s time to unlock the potential for your business.



The Same Great Harvest Scales with New Names for 2021

Over six years ago, the concept of a pay by weight, in-field harvest scale sparked the foundation of 2nd Sight. Six years later, our flagship product, the "FairPick Pro" is a simple, reliable system that offers growers the benefits of fair and accurate pay. Along the way, we developed additional labor tracking systems that would satisfy the needs of our current and future customers to have one complete labor tracking solution.

The 2nd Sight engineering team began development of the second generation FairPick model only a year after the commercial release of our original FairPick system. We decided to call the original model the “FairPick Pro” because it was a pro at being a rugged, user-friendly harvest scale. The name made sense.... at the time.

The inspiration behind the new FairPick model was to develop a tabletop scale system. Instead of an integrated computer, it would utilize a handheld computer that could be removed and run other 2nd Sight labor tracking apps outside of the often-short harvest window. For growers, the cost of the system could then be spread over several months of use instead of just a couple. The name “FairPick Lite” stuck because of its portability, not thinking it would be attached to the mobile, metal frame like the “Pro” as well as the portability of the handheld that could be removed from the box.

The “brain” of the FairPick Lite system is in the rugged handheld computer that runs the app. Because of this, our engineers can more easily modify and add features to the software which has transformed the FairPick Lite into a feature-rich app. Before implementation, we work with a grower to determine whether a “Pro” or “Lite” system would be a better fit for the farm. During these conversations, I often find myself explaining that there is always a tradeoff between simplicity and flexibility. If you want something that is extremely user-friendly, you will have to sacrifice some features and data flexibility. However, if you are not afraid of working a smart phone out in the field, you can have more options to customize the software to your process.

We have also always referred to the electronics box of the FairPick Lite system as the “FlexHub”. This was a name that reflected another new gadget on the market at the time of development, the Nintendo "Switch". This console was designed to offer both stationary and portable options for gamers as well as standard hardware to make game development easier for programmers. Sound familiar?

Although the “Pro” is an excellent solution for a farm that seeks simplicity, the “Lite” is a better fit for a farm that wants to maximize the hardware and software possibilities. The names have become counterintuitive and do not best represent each system's strengths. Sometimes, you must admit that a product has outgrown its moniker. Moving forward, the “FairPick Pro” will be referred to as the “FairPick", going back to its roots as the machine that fully-embraces reliability and simplicity. And, to make a long story short, the word flex keeps coming up when we talk about the “FairPick Lite”. So, we would like to introduce to you the same great system rebranded as the "FairPick Flex"!

For most of us, 2020 has been a year of change and adaption, so what better time to embrace a little rebranding!

rugged handheld device labor tracking app

Why We Offer Hardware in the Age of Farm Software

Software has become an important tool for growers, improving farm efficiency and providing accurate and timely information to make better, more profitable decisions. However, sometimes we forget that we must run software on something. From the inception of our flagship product, the FairPick scale, we realized that the combination of hardware and software would be key for our products to work well on the farm. The device that would run our labor tracking software would need to be rated for outdoor use and designed for industrial applications.

When we started talking to more growers, we learned that the FairPick scale offered a great solution for tracking harvest and produce picked but did not offer an easy way to track other employee time and piecework jobs. The ability to electronically record all work on the farm was the next step. This prompted our search for a manufacturer that offered industrial handheld computers to run our Android applications. Our partnership with Cipherlab has allowed us to deliver several models of handhelds over the last four years that meet our expectations and the needs of our customers.

Cipherlab manufactures mobile devices that offer the latest and greatest technology for many industrial applications. By using Cipherlab handhelds, it ensures that our software is compatible with the operating system of the device. It also allows our software to “talk” to other components on the device (sound, barcode scanner, NFC scanner, etc.). Technology changes so rapidly that it can be challenging for a software provider to guarantee that their applications work on all devices. We know that growers cannot tolerate much downtime with their technology, so pairing hardware with our labor tracking and product tracking software can make our systems more reliable.

Here are some other benefits of using Cipherlab handhelds versus typical cell phones to run 2nd Sight software:

  1. Built-in barcode scanners with physical scanner button for ease-of-use
  2. Hot-swappable batteries, spare batteries, and charging docks for extended workdays
  3. AppLock program that allows an admin to permit only certain apps be opened which prevents misuse and abuse of the device by employees
  4. Wi-Fi or SIM card capabilities for full data upload flexibility
  5. Built-in NFC reader that scans RFID cards and tags so that employee badges can be sturdy, get dirty, and get wet (unlike barcode badges)
  6. Ability to install micro SD cards for additional data back-up If the handheld is damaged

In 2020, we released the RS51 handheld for our FairPick Lite and FairTrak systems. This update to the RS50 includes an improved operating system and more processing power which means that it can handle a lot of data quickly. In 2021, we will release the RS35 handheld for use with our InstaCaliper and TallyTrak system. The RS35 will also boast more processing power and its integrated barcode scanner will now support 2D barcodes.

Ready to learn more about how our hardware and software work together as an integrated solution for your farm, nursery, or greenhouse? Send us an email or give us a call and we would be happy to explain why paying a little more for hardware will pay off when you need it most!