The future of mobile applications for agro-research
Mobile applications for breeding, testing and R&D laboratories become more and more decisive and complex. How agro-research application editors and IT departments cope with these evolutions ?
Growing market demand for mobile application development
Despite the slowdown of application downloading worldwide, the market demand for mobile application development services is growing¹, including R&D and agronomy sectors.
What's trending in mobile ag-applications ?
Mobile applications are particularly useful in the field of agriculture with the growing needs in measures and traceability on the field.
Applications are commonly used by farmers and agronomists to "provide weather data, general agronomic information, electronic magazines, and information from public-private institutions, among several other features"². More precisely, they provide help on various areas, notably:
- Identify weeds, insects, diseases and nutrients
- Calculate quantities of nutrient, tank mixes, phytosanitary volumes
- Field positioning of soil samples, user's notes, soil types...
- Economic data on grain prices, intrants prices
- Crop management with a field guide
- Livestock information
- Irrigation calculation and application
- Machinery preparation, inventory, information
- General ag-applications on wheather, meetings, news
- Non-ag-applications for reading e-books, calculator, calendar, picture editing
According to CropLife³, ag-app experts believe these four trends are getting crucial for agriculture mobility:
1. Greater focus on mobile user experience.
2. Keeping it simple.
3. Security is paramount.
4. Customization on the rise.
5. The emergence of predictive data analytics and IoT.
6. Wearable technology on the horizon.
How Doriane keeps RnDExperience™ applications at the state of the art
At Doriane we totally agree with these four trends and focus on these key points for the evolution of RnDExperience™, in particular RnDExp™ Mobile.
User experience has always been at the heart of our strategy, for instance with the "RnDays", annual meeting of our team and our customers to discuss software evolution. The recent integration of feedback features in our applications brings user experience to a new level since IT administrators get instant information on the needs of users, and are able to communicate these feedbacks to Doriane easily.
Designing simple apps for researchers is a challenge we meet everyday, and it's on our minds more and more. For a few years now we get the help of expert consultants in usability and ergonomy to design the future of our applications.
Security surely is one of our top priorities. Our customers seed companies, food industries, technical institutes and biotech baboratories worship the "secrecy cult" and would never make concessions to secure their innovations and information systems. That's why our databases are built like data vaults, that's why RnDExp™ enables accurate user rights management, that's why RnDExp™ Mobile enables data and configuration synchronization to never miss an information from the field.
Thanks to the flexibility of our applications, we can deliver a customized solution that fits the processes and data of the research department. Our team of consultants, expert in agriculture and computer science, has more than 30 years of experience in running configuration projects.
The next big thing in agro-research is predictive analytics. Notations get more and more accurate and contextualized by ontology which makes data mining and visualization a challenge. Among Doriane services, web mapping representation with such tool as RnDExp™ Web enables notably to visualize globally or more locally the heterogeneities of the trial network.
Wearable technology is a reference to integrating sensors on watches and bands to get directly connected to the application. When the Apple Watch is worn on a human body, our data collection application RnDExp™ Mobile gets connected to all the devices that measure the material. For instance with an on-board device of harvest machine that commands the automate, gets weights, humidity, concentration measures, and even prints labels and continuous backup.