eden: An augmented realtity planning tool for landscapers

Videoprototype, WS1112

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.

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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.

Concept: Landscaper

Concept, WS1112

After 2 days of making notes, sticking “post-its” onto the wall and extensively analyzing all different aspects of landscaping, we finally identified a major problem where progress can be made: the communication between customer and landscape. The central question is: How does the customer facilitate his wishes? Vice versa: Is the customer able to relate to the proposal of the landscaper? This tough communication can result in misunderstandings as well as change requests.

To overcome these problems, we proudly present:

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 that can be used at the project site. After pointing the tablets camera towards the landscape, it allows the user to merge virtual objects with real environment. The user can see changes immediately and then adapt the plan to his visions. The tool will then create specifications and a cost estimate for materials.

User Research: Landscaper

User Research, WS1112

It‘s always the gardener! Following this principle we have picked landscaper for our user research – and it was a lucky choice! The first two days were both very interesting and informative: Our interview partners talked all very enthusiastic about their jobs.

The last 20 years have already brought many technical improvements for landscaper, making their work more pleasant and ergonomic. Yet it will always remain a handwork being quite physically demanding and can therefore lead to typical occupational diseases like back and knee complaints. In the view of our interview partners this aspect won’t change in the near future since many operations will always have to be man-made.

When it comes to the communication with constituents they often face misunderstandings, resulting from imprecise plans or vague arrangements. Especially in this area we see opportunities to achieve progress.

 

We thank our interview partners for their friendly cooperation and for bringing up the words of the day:

Day 1: “Wurzelstockfräser”
Day 2: “Alphatier-Kleingärtner”