Concept Development 9/9: Teacher’s helper

During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.

Here is the final concept of team 9: Teacher’s helper

Teacher´s Helper is an easy and fast tool for teachers, which runs on a mobile device, for example a tablet. It´s built to improve and ease the daily routine of a teacher. Furthermore this tool centralizes documentation, communication and organisation on one single device. As we learned during our interviews, that the main problem of the teachers at SchlaU-Schule is that all information flow is not well organized and happens on a random basis. Teachers only working a couple of hours a week, don’t get important information, because they do not participate in the grapevine.

Our solution covers serveral fields of a teacher’s needs. Personal planning, creation of a class schedule, the „class book“, personal and public communication as well as an archive of all data, the school collected. The virtual „class book“ is one of the main features, we focused on. Pupils can report themselves sick via a cell phone interface, then the teacher can use our app to check attendance in his class. He will get informed if absence has a conspicuous pattern. All internal communication of the school’s teachers and social workers can be done using our application. The virtual teacher’s lounge will present important notices and reminders for all teachers. A private communication channel can be used for one-to-one-communication.
Scheduling an appointment was never that easy: Having insight in the calendars of the colleagues even the complex fill-in-planning for sick teachers can be done by a simple touch. By far, this are not all fields we can improve with our solution.

Our aim is to reduce the amount of time and complexity for teachers in their everyday workflows. Especially because this one solution covers a big field of problems. The greatest effort of Teacher’s Helper is probable the automation of single tasks to help and support the person, who uses Teacher’s Helper. As a result of this, teachers could have more time to focus on special things like the progress of the pupils.

The first logical step would be to point out all key the key features of our software. As there are many tasks the software should accomplish, more in-depth reasearch is needed to point out concrete problems in the single tasks. After the first prototype is built an evaluation in a real class is mandatory. With the feedback the tool should be evaluated more times, until it gets to a final stadium.

More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.

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Concept Development 8/9: eden: An augmented realtity planning tool for landscapers

During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.

Here is the final concept of team 8: eden: An augmented realtity planning tool for landscapers

During our research, we talked to several landscapers to gain an insight into their daily tasks. We discovered a couple of things that kept them from doing their actual work . Whether it was internal communication, planning or logging – there was always room for improvement. We carried out a detailled, „post-it“-supported analysis of all the information we had gathered, finding the planning process most interesting.

Landscapers mostly work for large institutions, where they get plans and execute them. Working with private customers though, they find themselves in the position of a landscape architect. This can lead to difficulties and misunderstandings because in some cases, neither the customer nor the landscaper can explain his ideas and thoughts properly. Here, our concept kicks in: eden.

eden is a landscape planning-tool using Augmented Reality techniques. It is designed to instantly visualize possible changes in the landscape and thus helps to improve the planning process. Augmented reality (AR) is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated input.

eden will run as a tablet application. To give others and ourselves an idea of how the tool could work, we created a storyboard that explained the typical use of our app.

Considering the feedback we received after a mid-presentation, we went out to film the scenario. Watch our video prototype right now!

For the future, the major idea is to adapt the concept so it can by used not only by landscapers, but also by private customers and landscape archichitects.
Augmented reality is, we think, the future of planning – landscapers are just one of many groups that will be able to benefit from this technology.

More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.

Concept Development 7/9: EasyExam

During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.

Here is the final concept of team 7: EasyExam

EasyExam is a tablet-based concept that will save time and paper in everyday life at school with focus on preparing and running tests more efficient. By using a tablet the exam preparation with EasyExam is location-independent and less complex. Letting the pupils write the test on their own tablets makes the process completely paperless and more cheating-safe.

The application offers multiple tools to teachers for working and browsing through teaching materials which are relevant for the test e. g. archived tests, example tasks, syllabus, books. Customizable templates speed up the creation of individual tasks and boost the re-use of already elaborated and approved material. With EasyExam new types of multimedia tasks can be integrated in tests such as videos, audio samples or animations.

In the classroom the teacher chooses the prepared exam and initiates the registration phase. Pupils within immediate reach logon for the test and download the exam documents. The pupil’s tablet automatically switches to the exam mode. In this mode all unnecessary or forbidden functionalities such as Wi-Fi are locked except of permitted utilities according to the test e. g. a calculator or a special dictionary. Even editing the exam is prohibited until the teacher gives the starting signal. To anticipate peculation the tablet continuously ensures (e. g. with face detection) that the test is written by the authorized disciple. If the distance between two tablets goes below the minimum the displays turn off to avoid that one pupil copies from the other.

When the time is up, all tablets will be locked synchronously and the exam data will be uploaded. According to the type of tasks EasyExam can help the teacher to correct the test and save even more time.

As you can see, preparing and running the test via EasyExam saves the teacher time. In addition, by doing all these things without a single book or college block our concept also saves paper and money.

But the idea, respectively the use of our concept is not limited to prepare and perform exams.

With many features for minimizing cheating possibilities (like face or handwriting recognition etc) and starting and ending all exams simultaneously it gives pupils and teachers a certain kind of fairness.

There are a lot of more possibilities how it can enrich the teachers lesson design: data can be gathered and displayed on an interactive whiteboard, books can be replaced by tablets, multimedia can be shown straight to the pupils…

EasyExam might be for Exams only, but our whole concept can be applied to a huge field in a teachers everyday life.

More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.

Concept Development 6/9: uPhysio

During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.

Here is the final concept of team 6: uPhysio

What is it?
uPhysio is a tablet application simplifying the creation and selection of home-made exercises by the therapist and afterwards showing the patient detailed instruction videos. Further it gives him direct feedback during the execution of exercises. Moreover it creates statistics increasing his motivation and showing his personal progress. It also gives the therapist the means to check on his patient and to change his exercise plan accordingly.

How does it work?
After the treatment the therapist can choose individual exercises for the patient he is meant to do at home by clicking on a predefined set of them. Based on patient’s condition he can also adjust the intensity and the rep count. Afterwards the plan is immediately available in the patient’s account. He now has access to detailed videos and descriptions.
Furthermore the application includes a reminder function helping the patient to do his exercises regularly. The system is equipped with a motion tracking camera to observe the execution of his exercises and to correct him as the circumstances require.

When finishing his ‚training‘ the application shows his success or failure. This gives the patient the required motivation and stimulus. After arriving back at the practice the physiotherapist can see the crunch points or praise his patient.

The application is also equipped with a reminder function which reminds the patient to do his exercises if a longer period of time passed without him doing them.
The position recognition checks if the patient is in the right postion in front of the tablet so that it can supervise his motions.
During the ‚training‘ uPhysio has an auto correction function that always gives the patient feedback in the form of correcting his moves, this is implemented by kinect build in the tablet’s camera.
At the end of each training session the patient gets personal feedback on his efforts in the form of diagrams and different levels.

Future

The application uPhysio could also be used by fitness centers or in other facilities with focus on physical recovery.

More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.

Concept Development 5/9: Catch-a-Client

During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.

Here is the final concept of team 5: Catch-a-Client

We developed an app offering a taxi driver to plan his day as efficiently as possible. It calculates routes with increased client appearance dynamically, which the driver can select and drive along. With this app long waiting periods will be avoided and better day planning achieved.


The system shows promising places by evaluating the following input:
events, cancellation of local traffic, business flights, competing taxis, weather, applied load of mobile networks, rush hours (central station, airport), credit-worthiness and holidays and vacation. The driver chooses proposed targets and is led past those places.

The main problems of taxi drivers are the long waiting periods and that they cannot “hunt” clients proactively, being damned to hope passively for agency calls or occasional customers. Our App solves this problem, having the potential to change the market’s power structure for the benefit of the driver.

Various analyses (driver’s log, personal favorite targets) as well as the possibility to plan routes for the next days (incl. points-of-interest, e.g. low priced filling stations) are beneficial for other industries as well. The identification of people accumulations offers meaningful applications for emergency planning or mobile points of sale, as well as for the organisation of street interviews in market research or journalism in general.

More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.

Concept Development 4/9: AMAscout

During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.

Here is the final concept of team 4: AMAScout

AmaScout is a tablet-based application that eases the collection of football specific data in the amateur sector. According to our approach, scouting can be solved by a larger group of people by using new technologies (tablet computers) in a strong simplified manner. Additionally, the whole scouting process has to be less time consuming and cheaper for more people to be potential scouters.

The way the application works can be described with an easy example: a coach tries to build-up his team as good as possible, so he needs some information about the upcoming opponent.
By using AmaScout, he enters the match to be observed and a scout is able to confirm his attendance. The easy-to-understand Graphical User Interface allows each club member to assume the scouting. By making team notes as well as individual notes, the scout has a variety of opportunities to acquire data. After saving the information, the data will be stored in a database automatically.

Due to the fact that amateur trainers are still using rudimentary tools like flip charts and notepads, it becomes apparent that there is a great development potential. Professional clubs are equipped with the newest technical features, however, these equipments are not affordable for amateur clubs.

Future scenarios (which were not shown in the video above) and story lines that could enhance the experience and quality of our idea:

Multi scouting
More scouts are able to watch multiple games and take notes, giving the trainer a more detailed insight on tactics or gameplay of the opponent teams. Also: Opinions can differ. Now the trainer is able to choose between multiple recordings.
Statistics
Saving scores, tactics, gameplays, conditions of players etc an amateur team can build up a great database providing their present and future trainers an enhance insight of games as well as great statistics sighted in the past.
Video analysis
More and more tablets are equiped with high(er) resolution backside cameras which can be used to take live pictures of the gameplay in combination with live annotation in the recording video.

More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.

Concept Development 3/9: MARS – monitoring and response support

During the two weeks course Concept Development, nine teams developed a concept to improve one task of their previously selected user group. User groups were limited to mobile, social or outdoor workers and a tablet had to be involved. Concepts were allowed to be visionary up to ten years ahead concerning technical practicability.

Here is the final concept of team 3: MARS – monitoring and response support

The objective is to enhance safety for firefighters and unburden the officer in charge by improved information flow regarding speed and quality.

What is it?

MARS enables real time monitoring of firefighting troops sent into a building. For this purpose, a variety of sensors are deployed within the firefighter’s equipment. These sensors transmit their data to a tablet computer held by the officer in charge who supervises the operation from outside the building. The received data is evaluated by the tablet computer, which automatically notifies the officer in case of an emergency. The officer then can take appropriate actions (give order to retreat, request supplies/replacement troops, etc.) immediately.

How does it work?

Firstly, the officer in charge receives important information about a conflagration on his tablet computer. This information includes a view of the building, the number of occupants and their cultural background, and the source of fire, which can be determined by smoke detectors inside the building. This helps the officer to get an overview of the conflagration even before he arrives at the site.

Secondly, all firefighters are equipped with several sensors measuring vital functions, such as heart rate or respiration frequency. Further, some sensors monitor the status of crucial equipment, for example the remaining amount of oxygen in their tanks, others are able to detect ruptures in protective suits. Even indoor localization is possible, either by modern smoke detectors, which can act as a wireless network accessible to fire troops and enable the measurement of received signal strength, in combination with a six axis electronic compass and accelerometer as part of the firefighter’s equipment, or by the deployment of maximum range antennas around the site and triangulation if the indoor smoke detectors are destroyed due to the conflagration.

This information is then transmitted to the tablet computer held by the officer in charge, where the data is evaluated. The officer is able to check up the overall status by a quick glance at the tablet. In the case of emergency, i.e. if any sensor measures and transmits critical values, the officer in charge will be notified automatically. The affected firefighter or equipment is displayed on the screen of the tablet and suggestions for next steps are presented accordingly. For example, the officer can choose to open a communication channel to the firefighters to give the order to retreat. The officer also has the option to request supplies from the central fire station, using the tablet instead of making a call. The interface in this specific scenario already shows a pre-selected list of the required amount of supplies according to the emergency. Hence, the officer can request necessary supplies with only one gesture, but still remains able to amend the list of supplies if needed.

What is its potential?

MARS offers enhanced safety for firefighters, especially in the event of an emergency. The officer in charge can take actions immediately based on detailed information coming from sensors which are deployed within the firefighter’s equipment.

This monitoring and response support system could be integrated into a modern framework of resource management. A framework could consist of three different levels: First, the single firefighter, whose equipment contains a variety of sensors for real time monitoring. Second, the officer in charge who is in control of a tablet computer, receives all relevant information from its troops and take actions accordingly. Third, the central fire station. By the use of a digital operation desk, units could be monitored and controlled. Supply requests could be handled sending supplies and replacement troops by the use of gestures.

How would future work on this concept look like?

Initially, a prototype of a sensing-transmitting unit that does not restrict the firefighter would have to be built. Afterwards, the challenge of developing a communication protocol for the use between the sensing-transmitting unit and the tablet computer would have to be dealt with. Signal strength and range have to be sufficient, too, so a solution to this must be thought of thoroughly.

The next step would be the creation of a user interface on the tablet computer, that includes all necessary functions on the one hand, but still is user friendly. One has to consider that the officer in charge wears protective gloves, so the these must be modified to be used with the tablet. The menu items and buttons have to be big enough for the rather imprecise movement and pointing due to the gloves.

More Details on their project can be found in the Concept Development Blog.