Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Apps for day-to-day work

30.01.2012
Games, e-mails and around-the-clock Internet access – smartphones are making the information culture an even more prominent part of everyday life.

Businesses and employers are also increasingly relying on mobile companions with apps developed expressly for the task at hand. In the future, for instance, apps will help farmers in organizing harvest their crops or provide support for business travelers. Researchers will be presenting the new apps at CeBIT 2012 (March 6-10) in Hall 9, Stand E08.


In the future, for instance, apps will help farmers in organizing harvest their crops or provide support for business travelers. © John Deere/Fraunhofer IESE (m)

When it’s time to sow the seeds in the field, or if asparagus and wheat are ready to be harvested, farmers and agricultural subcontractors exhibit manager qualities: They coordinate numerous workers and machines, keep machinery working to capacity and see to it that everything is running smoothly. The workers usually keep their instructions written down on sheets of paper – depending on the size of the operation, a helper may be working in up to ten fields a day. If there is a sudden change of plan, the farmer calls the workers on their cellphones.

In the future, smartphones will become more and more popular in the field, making work easier for farmers and agricultural subcontractors alike: They will enter their work instructions on their computer or mobile tablet, and the harvest assistants will receive these updates on an app especially designed for the purpose on their smartphones. The benefits: The instructions can be adjusted to the situation at hand at any time. Employees can also use the app to document their work better than before, showing with just a few “touches,” for instance, when they began working on which tasks in which fields, and indicating where and why there were any delays.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern have developed the app in a project with their strategic partner John Deere. “First we analyzed workflows in the field,” notes Ralf Carbon, head of “Business goes mobile” research at IESE. How large are the fields tended, how much time do the workers need, and which seed and pest control do they use? What technological services does harvesting machinery provide? Where can mobile devices be put to good use?

The main challenge for researchers was to make the app as user-friendly as possible.

“To do this, we involved end users in the process at an early stage – farmers, agricultural subcontractors and workers. They tested the app at various times; this helped us tailor it to their requirements,” Carbon explains. At CeBIT researchers will be demonstrating the prototype of the app – as just one example of how they can help businesses develop apps to suit their needs.

Another newly developed app that the researchers are presenting at CeBIT is designed to simplify the management and recording of business travel expenses. Until now, either the traveler has had to have a good memory, noting when and where he arrived and departed, and how many hours were spent working during the trip, or else these key data had to be written down manually. In the future, this will be easier: When the traveler arrives at the place of employment, all it takes is a “touch” of the app and the smartphone stores the date, time and location – while assigning the data to the right business trip. It will even be possible to do this automatically: The app knows the business-travel destination through the travel authorization. Once the traveler arrives there, the smartphone notes this via GPS and makes a suggestion the user simply has to confi rm. Particularly for longer assignments, given that assigning receipts from public transportation or taxis to the right trip can often be a laborious process. But if the user simply takes a snapshot of the receipts, the app automatically assigns the photos, making the trip easier to process.

This will make foreign business travel easier, too: If a traveler has to make a note of when he or she passed through customs in the US, say, the smartphone uses the new app to log when the smartphone was turned back on – meaning the arrival time – and stores this information.

Ralf Carbon | Fraunhofer-Institute
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/january/apps-for-day-to-day-work.html

Further reports about: Apps Carbon Fraunhofer Institut IESE Software Engineering business travel

More articles from CeBIT 2012:

nachricht UDE at the CeBIT fair: Protecting huge National Parks
07.03.2012 | Universität Duisburg-Essen

nachricht Cebit: Automated stress testing for Web 2.0 applications helps developers find programming errors
27.02.2012 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from CeBIT 2012 >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Firmen- und Forschungsnetzwerk Munitect tagt am IOW

08.12.2016 | Veranstaltungen

NRW Nano-Konferenz in Münster

07.12.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Wie aus reinen Daten ein verständliches Bild entsteht

05.12.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Hochgenaue Versuchsstände für dynamisch belastete Komponenten – Workshop zeigt Potenzial auf

09.12.2016 | Seminare Workshops

Ein Nano-Kreisverkehr für Licht

09.12.2016 | Physik Astronomie

Pflanzlicher Wirkstoff lässt Wimpern wachsen

09.12.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie