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  • Writer's picturePrecision Ag Reviews

Podcast: 16. Vance Crowe - Virtual Reality in Agriculture

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

2020 has brought on a lot of changes, specifically in how we communicate with one another while keeping our distance. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect how we go about life, Vance Crowe – of Articulate Ventures and the Vance Crowe Podcast – took a hard look at opportunities within virtual reality. In episode 16 of Precision Points, he walks me through what he has learned and how this technology can impact agriculture.

First, we started with some basics. There are several different reality technologies that, today, are separate, but which Vance believes will merge and eventually become one. One of these is virtual reality, where you put on a headset and are completely immersed into a different, self-contained environment. Some headsets have cameras that can feed in outside information, but do not affect the virtual reality experience you are in. Another is augmented reality, where you are wearing some sort of glasses, but you can see your present surroundings. The glasses can layer information around your line of sight. When working with another person, you could share the information and communicate with that person via the glasses.

In the world of Facetime and Zoom calls, it can be hard to imagine the difference virtual reality could make in our communication. One of the largest differences between virtual reality and today’s more mainstream remote conferencing is sound proximity. The technology allows you to hear with proximity as if you were really in a room with others, rather than everyone always being at the same audio level.

When it comes to agriculture, virtual reality could have a lot of room to change the way we run our operations. Vance believes that one of the first uses will be a virtual reality where you can bring someone into an environment to look at virtual equipment, allowing you to essentially walk through an exploded-view manual. From there, you might be able to bring in your equipment specialist or mechanic to troubleshoot problems together. As we go forward and see virtual reality technology improve, Vance thinks this will be the thing we need to bridge us to autonomous equipment.

“We’re going to be really uncomfortable with tractors that can move around the world, move around your fields, go from one field to another. So, right now we have to have a person there,” Vance said. “I would imagine we will get to a place where it will be okay for somebody to move a piece of [autonomous] equipment down a county road if they have virtual control over that,” Vance said.

“I love new technology and one of the things I have learned over time is it takes a long time for the application to match people’s imaginations, and to meet them with enough consistency we can rely on them,” said Vance.

Vance also spent some time talking through how these virtual spaces can help improve remote conferences. In agriculture, we have historically held many in-person trainings and meetings and, as we move to more remote settings, virtual reality can bring more life to the conversation than a webinar or Zoom call alone could.

“I have seen, first hand, total strangers meet and the conversations are different, maybe not better, but different than they are having on Zoom,” Vance started. “And those serendipitous collisions that we now spend hours and hours and hours driving to get to or flying to get to, can happen much faster, so I think ideas will spread much more quickly.”

If someone is interested in exploring virtual reality, there are a couple of headsets on the market. Vance uses the Oculus Quest, from Facebook; the price point has decreased from around $500 to $300 with the second model. That, with a connection to a phone, is all you need to get started. If you are interested in joining alongside other people, Oculus allows you to check on Facebook to see if any of your friends already have this technology, although Vance admitted that the group of people today may be limited. From there, you put on your headset and start exploring.

“The biggest challenge is that it is so vast, so big that you don’t know where to go,” Vance commented. “So you don’t go anywhere at all.”

This is part of why he and his colleague started Articulate Ventures Network. This is a network of people interested in virtual reality who explore these environments together. They go on virtual field trips together at wide-ranging places. Vance also recommended checking out “Wander” from Google. He said that it is essentially Google’s street view that can transport you to almost anywhere in the world instantly and is a great first environment to explore.

If you’re interested in virtual reality, I encourage you to check out Articulate Ventures Network to learn more and network with others exploring this space. To hear my full conversation with Vance, tune into Precision Points Episode 16.

Have you tried virtual reality or augmented reality? Leave a review here.



Host: Morgan Seger

Guest: Vance Crowe, Articulate Ventures and the Vance Crowe Podcast

Voiceover: (00:03)

Welcome to Precision Points, an ag tech podcast where we plant seeds of innovation to inspire informed decisions about precision technology and its impact for growers like you. We explore precision ag tools and technology from the soil to the sky, with your host Morgan Seger.

Morgan Seger: (00:22)

Welcome back to Precision Points, an ag tech podcast from I'm your host, Morgan Seger, and in each episode, we strive to bring you unbiased ag tech information and ideas. And you guys, I am so excited about today's episode. I had the opportunity to sit down with Vance Crowe. If you don't know who Vance is, he has his own podcast called The Vance Crowe Podcast, and he does a great job unpacking really difficult ideas. So he's a communication consultant who is the former Director of Millennial Engagement for Monsanto. So he spends a lot of time working to understand and explain new and sophisticated technologies. But he has some roots in agriculture that make this conversation really fun, because we talk not only about where virtual reality is today, but where it might go, including where it might go for us working in agriculture.

Morgan Seger: (01:21)

Just a heads up, as we started this conversation, he was wearing his virtual reality headset. So he walks me through what it is he's seeing as we get started. After that, we get into the details. So here's my chat with Vance Crowe. So what does the virtual world look like that you're in?

Vance Crowe: (01:38)

Well right now, I am staring at a bunch of mountains all around me. So I can look down and there's a giant valley and it looks green, but I'm in the middle of white mountain caps. And it's like during a sunrise. So there's light at the top of the mountains, but it's dark below in the bottom parts.

Morgan Seger: (01:58)

That's so cool. So we were interested in virtual reality. And I follow you on Twitter, obviously. That's where I reached out, so that's how I knew about you. But I've heard some of your conversations and your posts about virtual reality, and you just seem so excited about the technology. What's your background and how did you get involved in... I guess so enthusiastic about this new technology?

Vance Crowe: (02:23)

Well I'm going to pop this thing off, more because it was just a novelty. So hi, now my hair is all messy. So I had tried virtual reality many, many years ago. I remember back being a kid and doing virtual reality, and it was really low-grade technology. And then I didn't try it again until I tried Google Glass, where I realized, "Hey, this is getting there." And are you familiar with Google Glass?

Morgan Seger: (02:53)

Yeah. I got to try them on at a conference a couple of years ago.

Vance Crowe: (02:56)

And then when I saw that Oculus was coming out, I decided you know what? I'm going to try that. And it was particularly around coronavirus as I was setting up a whole bunch of... Let me show you something real quick. So during coronavirus, I was in the middle of needing to figure out how to do a bunch of stuff remotely. So I set up a studio where I could have everything working really well. And I started to realize that there's got to be a better way. And I started to think maybe virtual reality is that. So I bought a headset and... Oh actually, a good friend of mine let me borrow his. And as soon as I put it on, at first I was like, "Whoa, this is nothing but danger. Get this out of my house. I don't want it here." And then I started thinking, "Wait a second, of course there's some danger with it. But let's try it out."

Vance Crowe: (03:47)

So I bought a headset and then I started giving myself projects to see if I could do different things. And as I started to do more things, I started to realize this is a transcendent experience. It is something beyond whatever we're dealing with right now, and that's what gave me this level of enthusiasm.

Morgan Seger: (04:04)

It's one of those technologies that I almost wonder if it were just a little bit further along, if it would have exploded during this coronavirus stuff, since we've been living in such a strange world where we can't see people. I mean I feel like it could have been so helpful for people who are struggling with being alone and all of these things. Sorry, that was a side thing. But can you explain what you mean by trouble? When you say it was trouble?

Vance Crowe: (04:31)

So you put this thing on and literally any experience on Earth is available to you. But the challenge is that most experiences that you go through in life, you go through with a form of risk. And that risk often requires you to have some suffering, to give something up, to make choices. And now, you are going to have a portal into literally anything that you wanted. So you could start having the perception of reality without the actual reality. And your brain will not be able to distinguish between them. So you, for example, could be exposed to a murder or a car accident, or something traumatic, or something incredibly sensual, or something really scary, and your brain would not be able to divorce that from reality. Even though you had walked into that experience being like, "I know I'm in virtual reality," you wouldn't really have that perception.

Vance Crowe: (05:33)

So for me, I thought, imagine not only the temptation, but the real danger, because you are trusting that... Because I'm not creating the images that are going in front of me. So anytime I walk through a door, anytime I put something on, I am trusting whoever that programmer is that they are not going to hijack my brain. And I took that really, really seriously.

Morgan Seger: (05:53)

Okay. That makes a lot of sense. Who is building these other alternative worlds basically that you can enter into?

Vance Crowe: (06:03)

So there's apps just like on your phone. So when you have this Oculus system, there's very little that the Oculus system itself does. They've basically created a platform and they've allowed developers to create different things. So the thing that I was in, when you and I talked, it was called Immersed. So a company said, "We want to create working spaces so that you could have your desktop in a virtual space." And let's say you were living in a 300 square foot apartment, you now all of a sudden could have all kinds of space, you could put noise into it to make it feel realistic. And then there are other things. One of the ways that I've done all of this exploring is I have this thing called the Articulate Ventures Network, which is a place where people pay a membership fee and they use this network to explore things. Sometimes they give talks and they want feedback on it, sometimes they have ideas that they want to explore.

Vance Crowe: (06:58)

And one of the things that we do is virtual reality field trips, usually two to three times a week, or a month I mean. And last weekend, we did the Anne Frank House. So somebody that is running the Anne Frank museum decided that they would create that as a virtual experience. And so there's all these different developers. Now from there, my business partner and I decided to build our own world. And so that's what we did. We created an experience that's a set of poems and some thought-provoking ideas as you're walking along a path.

Morgan Seger: (07:31)

Okay. That's really interesting. I'm just trying to think of... So they're creating these places where you can go, how is the experience different from a regular online thing that you'd be watching and a video tour basically of Anne Frank's house?

Vance Crowe: (07:51)

So, if you were doing a video tour, you would have probably higher fidelity video. So the Anne Frank House was actually almost a cartoonish representation, because you have to have all that processing power on the headset. And I specifically chose a headset where you didn't have to have wires and you didn't have to set up little buoys and things like that. So on the one hand, the graphics are less good. However, the experience of it is really different. So for example, you go into the factory at Anne Frank's... Where she hid out, and you go through a bookcase. And when you go through the bookcase, now you're in this really small narrow hallway where you look up and you can see how steep the stairs are. You look over here and you see, "Hey, there's a door there and a door there." And if I want to walk around this hallway, I have to squeeze in between there. You would never be able to create that physical experience in video, because you're always watching it on a two dimensional space.

Vance Crowe: (08:53)

So you look around and you see your space, but then you're only watching it through a portal. But I think the way, way bigger thing, the thing that really shocked my brain, and this probably goes to your original question, is when I realized what you could do with sound. So I have a background in sound. I worked in radio. I really care very deeply about the way things sound. And I realized, in some of the apps, what they do is, if you and I were on a Zoom call in a thing called Hubs, for example, if we're sitting close together and I talk, you can hear me really well. But if I move further away from you, then my voice goes down. And so you start to have an actual perception of the room based on what you can hear. And a lot of people don't realize that there's this concept called audio proprioception, which is I know where I am in a space based on how things sound, right?

Vance Crowe: (09:49)

So imagine that you walked into a room that didn't have any echo at all, the sound just absorbed to it, you would actually feel out of balance, maybe even a little bit dizzy, because you need that sound to hit off of things and bounce back to you or dissipate out into the space. So what this allows you to do is imagine you've been on Zoom calls with like 50 people or 30 people, so the problem with that is if I am the speaker and you're in the audience, and you're sitting next to somebody and you decide to look to the screen next to you and say something even if it's quietly, it comes over that microphone to everyone else at the exact same volume. Whereas if you're in this space, you could whisper to the person next to you and a person three people away couldn't hear what you're saying, and it wouldn't interrupt the person that's speaking.

Vance Crowe: (10:39)

So the person that's speaking can actually have a booming voice through a microphone and you could actually now have that experience of having group meetings or group talks, where the sound actually creates a much richer experience.

Morgan Seger: (10:52)

Okay. And I can see how that would totally change the way you're interacting in your meeting too, because I know you don't always want to talk in those big Zoom calls because if you even cough, your name gets highlighted and everyone looks to you.

Vance Crowe: (11:04)


Morgan Seger: (11:05)

I heard you talk about that, sound proximity, on your interview with Keaton, I guess do you know how it works? If you just look in that person's direction, does your headset pick up who's closest to you? Or?

Vance Crowe: (11:19)

So what they did when they were designing these, and it's not in all apps, because it requires a certain amount of bandwidth to make it happen, but they basically ported what we've learned over what they've learned from making video games. And in video games, they really figured out, "Oh, we can heighten this experience if you're playing a game where you need to sneak up on people," or you hear a dripping sound in the background and that tells you, "Oh, I need to go over there where there's a leak." So they took that. So I've gone in to build some of these worlds. What you do is you can imagine those three-dimensional spaces that look like The Matrix where there's lines everywhere and you're in a box. I don't know how to describe it. Graph paper for the virtual world I think.

Vance Crowe: (12:03)

What you can do is I can place a microphone and that microphone then allows me to draw a circle that says, "Anyone that's within this circular area should hear volume at this amount." And then if you're outside of that circle, now you put another circle around it, the sound should come down this many decibels. Get a little further away, this more decibels. And so if you imagine that not only are you painting the graphics around you, you're painting how sound works in that room, then you can create this audio proprioception concept.

Morgan Seger: (12:40)

Makes sense. And then is it like every person that enters into that world has one of those circles around them too?

Vance Crowe: (12:46)

Yes, and depending on what world you're in. So for example, I led a group and we went into this Viking bar. And inside the Viking bar, it was designed to have 50 people in there, but you could really only hear the person that's sitting across the table from you. And if you're outside of that circle, you could hear it, but it sounds almost like when you're in a bar and you tune out everybody else. And then you could have it where you're in a big open space. I did another experience where we were in a museum, where basically anytime you say anything, it echoes through the whole room. You're really, really loud. And so those changes are the exact same thing as what would go into physical space.

Morgan Seger: (13:27)

So I've heard virtual reality and augmented reality and mixed reality. Are those different things or is it all describing the same situation?

Vance Crowe: (13:40)

So augmented reality and virtual reality are two different things that will, I think, probably one day merge. And I think ultimately, augmented reality will be the winner. But virtual reality is just like this. You put on a headset and then it is completely self-contained. I can get very little information from this box, from the outside world. There are cameras on here. So if I had this on my head, now you double tap it, it turns on the camera so I can see what's around me. But none of that information is impacting my virtual reality experience. Augmented reality on the other hand is where you have glasses or something where you're seeing the world, but it is laying over top of it different activities or things that are going on.

Vance Crowe: (14:24)

So for example, if I'm looking at you, it could pull up your Facebook profile, it could attach a name, or you and I could go into a space and I could say, "Hey, I'm going to let her see my artwork that I've put in here." So, by you having a certain passcode or me allowing you to do certain things, you could look around the room and you and I would only see that, whereas another person with glasses on couldn't see it. It would be as though nothing was there.

Morgan Seger: (14:49)

And I could see how that would maybe make creating an environment more accessible if you were just wanting to bring someone into your own environment. How does it work for virtual reality if you wanted to be in that space with someone else? I saw online that you've done some team meetings. How do they all get in the same space and then relate to each other once they're in there?

Vance Crowe: (15:10)

That's a great question, because this is a problem that has only piecemeal answers to it, right? Everybody's trying to do their own thing, but it's like laying railroad track where everybody has different gauge. So right now, the way that we do it is in the Oculus system, which is owned by Facebook, you join a party which can have up to eight people in it. And then the only thing that we can cooperatively do together is hear each other. So if we're in YouTube and we're watching something, I can't look around and see the people around me, I can only hear what they're saying. But if we go to a world like Mozilla Hubs, then we can go to a place like an art museum or a Viking bar, and there it puts my avatar and their avatars and we can move around that space together. But it's a really disjointed experience.

Vance Crowe: (16:05)

So that's why we have to have field trips because you need to get everybody coordinated so that they can go enter the spaces and they can all be there together. Eventually, this'll be a solved problem. But right now, it's like back when you had the internet and you were still just trying to figure out where will we meet and how will we find each other. That's the thing that's going on.

Morgan Seger: (16:24)

Okay. I can just see me outside the Viking bar and knocking like, "What's the passcode, guys?"

Vance Crowe: (16:32)

And that exact thing actually happened. So I was doing this thing for a group of CEOs and you had seven people get in, and the eighth person couldn't. And they could see that there were a bunch of people in there and we were trying to talk with them to get in. And it's an aggravating experience.

Morgan Seger: (16:50)

I can imagine. So what we do at Precision Ag Reviews is we try to focus on all technology, but then specifically how it can apply to agriculture. And I know you have some interest in agriculture. I mean I know the possibilities are endless, but do you see any specific fit or way that growers can start exploring this technology and trying to figure out how it can improve their business?

Vance Crowe: (17:15)

I think the first thing will be... If you've ever been around working on equipment, you find that there are certain things about the way a screw is placed in that you just can't get a video camera there, right? There's some piece in front of another piece in front of another piece. And so I think the first use will be the ability to be able to have somebody come into a space and be able to look all around and say, "Oh, I see that the piece is under here and around there." YouTube is doing that to some extent. But when you think about the entire immersion of it, where you actually can feel the combine around you as you're getting in there and looking at these things, it will make the experience of fixing complicated things go way, way up. And it also could mean that you could probably hook up a camera that would allow another person to take a look at what you're seeing and go another step beyond video.

Vance Crowe: (18:13)

That first use case isn't going to be that big of a deal. However, as you go forward and you see this technology improve, I think what we will do is this will be the necessary bridge in order that people can automate their tractors, because we're going to be really uncomfortable with tractors that can move around the world, move around your fields or go from one field to another. So right now, we have to have a person there. But I would imagine that we will get to a place where it will be okay for somebody to move a piece of equipment down a county road if they have a virtual control over that. And we're probably a ways away from that, but that's where I see it going.

Morgan Seger: (18:56)

I could see that. One of the questions that we ask on the podcast a lot is what is one technology you're most excited about? And almost everyone says, "Autonomous equipment." But there's obviously hurdles to getting in there. So you would predict, if that's fair to say, that someone sitting in an office actually controlling the autonomous vehicles when they're in a public space. And then when they're in the field, they'd get set on their AB path and just run.

Vance Crowe: (19:21)

Right. So having to have somebody be at those controls when they're interacting with the public space, because you don't want the automation to be fully in control. But that's just a guess. It's one of those things where I have temper... So I love new technology. And one of the things I've learned over time is it takes a long time for the applications to match people's imaginations and to meet them with enough consistency that you can rely on them. So that's a 10-year thing at the earliest probably. And there'll probably be intermediary steps that will be interesting and unexpected, would be my guess.

Morgan Seger: (20:04)

Got you. I mean as we're having this call right now, I keep getting the signal saying that my bandwidth is low. So fixing some of those problems is probably the first step in rural corn and soybean country where we're hoping to get these autonomous vehicles. So other than that, the exploded view of the manual, I know even grease in our combine can be really hard to get into the different areas, and then possibly bringing someone into that conversation to look at it. Outside of things like that, what are you seeing for education type purposes? It felt to me when people first started talking about it was improving education, and then the entertainment side of it. Do you see that having any application in agriculture?

Vance Crowe: (20:49)

Yeah. I mean I think that one of the biggest things that agriculture does is they have a lot of conferences and those conferences are designed to have those serendipitous collisions, those like, "I didn't know I was going to meet this person, but I did. And we started talking about something and I learned something new." Zoom doesn't really allow for that. And even if you do breakout rooms, no matter what you try and do, there's something that inhibits it. But I've observed that you can get people into the virtual space and as the avatars get better, as it's not just a cartoon of me, but it actually looks like me and it moves like me, people will then start having the experience that they've met other people. And I think that the idea of probably virtual coffee shops are a long way off, but a virtual conference will be impactful.

Vance Crowe: (21:43)

Probably not as impactful as being able to shake somebody's hand, but I have seen firsthand total strangers meet and the conversations that they have are different. Maybe not better, but different than what they're doing when they're on Zoom. So I think that those serendipitous collisions that we now spend hours and hours and hours driving to get to, or flying to get to, can happen in a much faster way. So I think ideas will spread much more quickly.

Morgan Seger: (22:10)

Okay. So if someone's interested in this, can you walk me through the basic setup? What type of equipment do they need and what that investment looks like?

Vance Crowe: (22:19)

Yeah. So I have the Oculus Quest, the first version. Oculus just in two weeks is going to start shipping their second version of that. The price point will go from, I think I paid $500 for my first headset and I think I'm paying $300 for my second headset. And that's all you need. You need that and a phone, because you use your phone to be able to link up to it. And that's in the Facebook domain. There are other competitors, Samsung has some, I'm sure Google will come out with one. So the people that are doing it now are just taking a roll of the dice as to whether or not their system will be the dominant one, there'll probably be two or three that are really dominant. There'll probably also be new companies that crop up that are able to be innovative in a way that a company owned by Facebook can't be, because you're dealing with such a large bureaucracy. So I think if you're prepared to spend about $300 or $350, you could get into the VR space.

Morgan Seger: (23:19)

Okay. And then do you predict ag companies get into this space in that way? Or is it something where if a company wanted to engage with customers, they could build the environment basically and invite them into the environment?

Vance Crowe: (23:32)

Yeah. I guess maybe a different way to answer that question would be if I were a company and I were looking to invest in this technology, the first thing I would do is, well I would hire Articulate Ventures to give you an exploration of it, because that's what we do and we've given people tours that have been mind-altering to them. But then the next thing would be to try and build virtual spaces that teach you how the virtual worlds work. Once I understood how sound worked and I understood what you could build, all of a sudden, VR went for me from being a play or entertainment to being like, "Wow, there are things that you can do here," not least of which is designing things that normally you'd have to build figures and have to work in CAD, that are way, way beyond our current capability. And the only way to learn it is to try and build something, realize what you don't know, and then go out and find out how to navigate what you don't know.

Morgan Seger: (24:34)

And then when you're looking at that building, how vast... Can you just keep building it forever and ever? Or do you try to keep it a certain area that's more manageable?

Vance Crowe: (24:45)

That's a great question. So there's all different kinds of buildings. So you could do a thing called Rec Room, which I think is something that Oculus put together, where it's basically they have the objects and you place the objects where you want them. And that's the first level. It's a little bit like Minecraft in that way. Then the next level is to go up and to do something like Mozilla Hubs. I'm trying to think what the name of that is. I think it's called Scope or something like that. That's not right, but it's something like that. And that's where you get to start messing around with sound and building things out in that way. And then there's another app called, I think it's called SketchUp, and that's where you could do things like build cars and build basically anything that you could draw or imagine. And so there's varying degrees. And yes, it's infinite. When Ben and I worked together to build that world that we now use, that was done basically by using graphic designers and sound engineers and just melding the whole world together.

Morgan Seger: (25:48)

That's interesting. I can see how you could just get lost in building something out forever and then invite your friends over and hangout.

Vance Crowe: (25:58)

The biggest challenge, and that's the reason we started doing those virtual reality field trips, is it is so vast, it is so big that you don't know where to go, so you don't go anywhere at all. And so we decided that what we would do is, "Hey, anybody that finds an app that they think is interesting, just let us know. Maybe we'll buy it, maybe we can use a free version, and we'll go test those things out and then talk about it." And really the coolest one that I've seen so far is actually owned by Google. And they took Google Street View and they made it into a virtual world. So it's called Wander. And you and I could put on our headsets and we could go to wander, and as long as we're friends, we would go to the same places.

Vance Crowe: (26:38)

So we went around to a bunch of different people's farms and their childhood homes, and places that I had been in Kenya. You're immediately all transported there. So as soon as you put in the address, it's not like render, it's like bang. It's right there. And that's a fun experience that I think if I were going to recommend one, that would be the first one I would recommend.

Morgan Seger: (26:59)


Vance Crowe: (26:59)

To do with other people.

Morgan Seger: (27:01)

That's really interesting. I know when we'd be on farm calls and we first started looking at satellite imagery and stuff, we would spend so much time just looking at their own property and their fields and looking at variability and stuff. So it'd be cool to just fly out there and see what it looks like. And I appreciate the recommendation, because that was one of the other questions I had is, how do you help people have a good first experience? Because I know I tried the Microsoft HoloLens once and you could put this little weightlifter guy on a desk and then walk around him and watch him lift weights, which was really novel and cool for a little bit. But then I was like, "Okay, I'm done." I take the headset off and set it aside, because if that's what it does, it's interesting, but not super useful. So I appreciate the recommendation.

Vance Crowe: (27:46)

Oculus has a thing when you first start called First Steps, where you get these blocks and you figure out, how do I pick things up? How do I throw things? How do I have a more delicate touch? So that's the first thing I recommend everybody to do. And in fact, when we take groups that have hired us to usher them through virtual reality, we always start with that, because just learning how to move and manipulate your hands and your body in that space is a tall order. It's hard to do. And so you want to have that first experience and then you can go and do the more interesting things.

Morgan Seger: (28:21)

It's like a fax machine where if you have one, that's cool, but you can't send and receive faxes unless your friends have them too. So do you suggest that people try to encourage their friends? Or how do you start with building that network or finding other people who are engaging this way?

Vance Crowe: (28:37)

Well you can see it on Facebook, people that have put their hand up to say, "Hey, I have a virtual reality headset. So if you can see if any of your friends do." I got on and literally zero of my friends had it. But that's why that network that I was talking about, Articulate Ventures Network. Once I told people, "Hey, I have this. And if you get it, then we can do it together," then there were a bunch of people that went out and bought them. And so it's always suggest it out to your friends and see who's excited, and you want those early adopters to pick it up first.

Morgan Seger: (29:10)

Well thanks for tuning in to another episode of Precision Points. What do you guys think? If you're like me, virtual reality was something you've put a little bit of thought into. But after that conversation with Vance, I found myself Googling different VR headsets and figuring out how to get started. So, if you are interested in learning more about virtual reality, I really encourage you to check out Articulate Ventures Network. It's on the web, and you can learn more about what they're doing there. Since recording this episode, I have found several people that are very influential in the ag industry that are a part of Articulate Ventures. So it seems like a really great group to be a part of. You can also find Vance at VanceCrowe on Twitter, and I encourage you to check out The Vance Crowe Podcast. Until next episode, thank you so much for tuning into Precision Points. Don't forget to hit subscribe. Let's grow together.

Voiceover: (30:08)

Thanks for tuning in to today's episode. To hear more podcasts like this, please rate, review and subscribe to Precision Points. Visit for show notes from this episode and read expert advice on the blog. Share your experience with the precision ag products you use and check out our network of grower sourced reviews. Let's grow together.


Host: Morgan Seger

Morgan Seger grew up on a small farm in northwest Ohio before studying agriculture at The Ohio State University. She spent 10 years working with ag retail – specifically in ag tech – before coming to to host Precision Points Podcast. She lives and farms in western Ohio with her husband Ben and their four children. Morgan has her own blog called Heart and Soil where she talks about her experience farming, gardening, and raising her family.


Guest: Vance Crowe

Vance Crowe is a communications consultant who has worked for corporations and international organizations around the world. He has spoken before more than 100,000 people, answering questions about some of the most sophisticated and controversial technologies in the modern age. Vance helps organizations realize why the general public doesn’t agree with their perspective and offers new ways to communicate effectively, resolve disagreements, and build rapport with critics and stakeholders.

Vance is the former Director of Millennial Engagement for Monsanto. He previously worked as a Communications Strategist for the World Bank Group, as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Kenya, as a Communications Coordinator at a National Public Radio affiliate in Northern California, and as a deckhand on an eco-tourism ship that traveled the Western Hemisphere. His stories and lessons illuminate aspects of communications that remain hidden to most people.

Vance holds a degree in communications from Marquette University and a master’s degree in cross-cultural negotiations from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy.

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