Smart buildings, smart grids, smart infrastructure - these terms are bandied about more often than ever. In this image, technology is incorporated into an ordinary pivot irrigation system, making it a smart agricultural device. Notice some sprinkler heads are off while others are active. This is due to broadband wireless monitoring technology, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that records and transmits soil-moisture levels. This pilot project in Georgia enables farmers to effectively irrigate soil without wasting water.

Chad Vander Veen  | 

Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.