Having recently shuffled bedroom space at our house to accommodate the new addition to our family, one of the top priorities for my oldest son was making sure his Nintendo Wii was reconnected, post haste.

Although this task didn’t rank all that high on my to-do list, I accommodated his request. But what I expected to be a 2 minute hook-up, ended up taking far longer, with a little bit of frustration sprinkled in.

I don’t claim to be the most gifted person when it comes to connecting components, but this seemed like a pretty straightforward setup. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and I’ll admit to being fairly close to calling it quits — at least for the day.

After swapping out a couple cords and finding the right input/output combination, the system was finally up and running. My satisfaction came from seeing a satisfied smile on my son’s face.

For a moment, while I was tangled in a web of wires, I thought about what precision farming specialists encounter when trying to get one brand of equipment to communicate with another. This challenge is noted by many and remains an unsolved problem in the industry.

ISOBUS could be the answer, but some dealers are still skeptical. One precision dealership owner in Ohio says that he’s, “not a big fan of ISO,” because it doesn’t seem like it’s “truly ultimate compatibility.”

His rationale is that there will always be “quirks” and “bugs” that will need to be worked out to get multiple brands of equipment to communicate. This certainly could be the case and it seems that even the most compatible of technology has its issues from time to time.

But others see ISOBUS as the best option. A dealer in Indiana says that, “ISO is going to be our biggest hope for compatibility. That’s the only way we’re going to get everybody on the same page.”

Manufacturers and electronic companies will again meet this spring in Lincoln, Neb., for the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) PlugFest to test multi-brand connections and record results

Having attended the event last April, I am anxious to see how much progress has been made in a year’s time. Talking with precision dealers, patience with manufacturers to work together on a solution seems to be wearing thin.

But many are willing to do whatever it takes to meet the compatibility requests of customers, because they know that solving a short-term connection problem is a way to secure long-term business.

“I’ll never end a phone conversation with a customer telling them I can’t solve their compatibility problem,” one precision specialist from Iowa says. “Even if I’m not sure I can actually solve it at the time. I’ll do what I can to figure it out.”