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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Veranstaltungen

Größte nationale Tagung 2019 für Nuklearmedizin in Bremen

21.03.2019 | Veranstaltungen

6. Magdeburger Brand- und Explosionsschutztage vom 25. bis 26.3. 2019

21.03.2019 | Veranstaltungen

Teilchenphysik trifft Didaktik und künstliche Intelligenz in Aachen

20.03.2019 | Veranstaltungen

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

Die Zähmung der Lichtschraube

22.03.2019 | Physik Astronomie

Saarbrücker Forscher erleichtern durch Open Source-Software den Durchblick bei Massen-Sensordaten

22.03.2019 | HANNOVER MESSE

Ketten aus Stickstoff direkt erzeugt

22.03.2019 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

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