Google’s latest moonshot: Welcome “Mineral”

Paolo Cuomo
2 min readOct 13, 2020
Image credit: Mineral

What if you could read a plant like you can read a book

Aside from the usual twin themes of my posts here — insurance innovation/insurtech and quantum computing — regular readers will know that I’m very keen on the role technology plays in sustainability as we try and workout how to resolve the challenges on our planet without having to simply give up on wholesale on the way of life we have become accustomed to.

One of the massive challenges is of course continuing to feed people — both as numbers continue to grow and as the challenges of food production increase.

Great to learn therefore about the latest initiative from Alphabet’s X labs. It’s called Mineral and is essentially a moving data-collection device (with solar panels) to “build a complete picture of the field” and allow better data-driven decision making in the agriculture space. #Agritech

The challenge is defined as:

To meet the world’s growing demand for food, we need to change what we grow and how we grow it

Plenty of good articles on it — TechCrunch, The Verge, and the X lab site.

Clearly the very early stages but if these devices can at scale deliver the required data then it takes the next stage of work away from distributed fields and into a centralised analysis stage so hopefully actionable data-driven insights are available sooner rather than later.

Paolo Cuomo

Check out my ebook — so proud to have finally published it: