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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Veranstaltungen

Internationale Konferenz zur Digitalisierung

19.04.2018 | Veranstaltungen

124. Internistenkongress in Mannheim: Internisten rücken Altersmedizin in den Fokus

19.04.2018 | Veranstaltungen

DFG unterstützt Kongresse und Tagungen - Juni 2018

17.04.2018 | Veranstaltungen

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>
 
Aktuelle Beiträge

Grösster Elektrolaster der Welt nimmt Arbeit auf

20.04.2018 | Interdisziplinäre Forschung

Bilder magnetischer Strukturen auf der Nano-Skala

20.04.2018 | Physik Astronomie

Kieler Forschende entschlüsseln neuen Baustein in der Entwicklung des globalen Klimas

20.04.2018 | Geowissenschaften

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics