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Size sampling in seconds – Spectre on show at APAL Orchard Tour

Technology & Data

Award-winning agritech company Hectre was showcased at the APAL Orchard Tour on 2 September. On display was Spectre, Hectre’s mobile fruit sizing AI app that delivers size estimations within seconds, straight from a simple tablet.

Spectre was developed in response to industry demand to address the impacts caused by a lack of early and reliable size sampling data. The app was launched in New Zealand in 2020, has been in market in the United States since April 2021 and is now available in Australia. To date, more than 27 million pieces of fruit have been detected and sized by Spectre.

Global fruit leaders gaining the benefits of Spectre include Washington Fruit & Produce Co., Monson Fruit, BC Tree Fruits, Sandher Fruit Packers, Rockit Global and First Fresh NZ.

Hectre’s Head of Sales Kevin Park and Account Manager Danny Herbert represented Hectre at the APAL event, where attendees got to see Spectre up close for the first time.

Mobile fruit sizing app Spectre

Hectre’s mobile fruit sizing app Spectre uses computer vision AI and only a simple tablet is needed.

“It was a great opportunity for industry to see exactly what Spectre can do. There’s nothing like seeing Spectre in action to truly appreciate its capabilities. We really enjoyed meeting everyone and the interaction with the group was fantastic,” Kevin said.

Spectre’s smart technology means a simple photo of the top layer of a bin of apples, taken from a standard tablet, is all that is needed to generate a highly accurate size distribution graph, all within seconds.

With an average of 125 apples per bin detected and sized in seconds, results can be used in the orchard or in the packhouse to make informed decisions around picking, packing, sales and distribution.

In the orchard, Spectre can be used to ensure pickers are picking to the brief and to give the packhouse a heads up as to what is coming in off the orchard. For packhouses, Spectre significantly improves storage decisions, reduces costly packline stoppages and enables sales teams to sell with confidence, knowing they’ll be able to fill orders.

“The reception we received at the orchard tour was extremely positive and really encouraging. Especially the “Beat Spectre for beersies” competition we ran, where we asked attendees to do what Spectre does and ‘guestimate’ the size distribution of a bin of apples,” Danny said.

“There were some crazy guesses in there, some better than others. It was a lot of fun!”

Spectre begins detecting apples in the bin

Inside the tech: Using computer-vision technology, Spectre begins detecting apples in the bin and delivers sizing results within seconds.

Last month, Hectre was named a winner in the global AgTech Breakthrough Awards for the second year running. Its fruit app provides both orchard management software plus mobile fruit sizing.

With dual-hemisphere R&D teams, Hectre’s speed to innovate has become market leading. Over the past year, they have delivered more than 147 enhancements to the app. This month, Hectre released its latest innovation, Spectre Top Down, to the US. Detecting and sizing apples straight off the top of flatbed trucks arriving at receiving, Spectre Top Down sizes up to 5,000 apples in each pass.

Having access to reliable size data, with such simplicity and at such an early stage in the process, is proving to be a game changer.

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This content was provided by Hectre, a sponsor of the APAL Orchard Tour on 2 September 2022.


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