Voyager Scales - mobile app design and development
Rod Chandler of Atlas Weighing devised a scale that can be mounted to a trailer for the purpose of allowing farmers and farm workers to reliably weigh the contents of their trailer out in the field. Contactpoint was engaged to design and build a mobile app that could receive data from a trailer configured with between 1 and 8 weight sensors, and allow the farmer / contractor to view and use the data in their harvesting work.
The electronics on the device were designed and built by Successful Endeavours, a local team of electronics engineers who are passionate about keeping manufacturing within Australia. Successful Endeavours have been providing innovative solutions since 1997, into a wide range of industries.
An iOS app, downloadable via iTunes, was designed and built by Contactpoint. High level features include:
- Pairing with a trailer via Bluetooth BLE.
- Trailer configuration and calibration / re-calibration of each on-board sensor.
- Data is received from the device via Bluetooth BLE broadcast, and also written back to the trailer during setup.
- Load data is recorded in combinations of Customers, Paddocks (locations) and Product types.
- Easily add new customers, paddocks and products for quick selection.
- View time-stamped load data.
- Email or SMS load data to contacts found on your device, or enter a new destination email address / mobile number.
- Print load data via PDF to a local printer.
- Quickly clear data after your shift, ready for your next customer.
Collaboration with Successful Endeavours regarding naming, reading and writing of data attributes, and their flow, was a critical part of the project.
The app has been built as a universal app, so that it can be used on either iPhone or iPad. iOS was selected due to the percentage of the market segment on the operating system. The app was built natively to ensure high performance, particularly with connecting to hardware via Bluetooth.
Usability is key in the solution, which is generally going to be used outside by manual labourers. Guiding the user through configuration and calibration, and nicely handling the vagaries of pairing with Bluetooth devices, and all the possible problems that can be encountered out in the field (literally). It is very easy to add new customers, view progress, and switch between trailers.
Contactpoint also designed the branding, and designed & built a website to promote the app.
The app has been very well received by the industry. The device and app have already been re-purposed for forklifts and small trucks, providing great flexibility across additional sectors.
The app has been designed with spare attributes built into the communication between the app and the sensors. An Android version of the app is also on the horizon.
Update: The Android version has now been built and made available in the app stores.