Videoprototype – Bahnhofsmission

Group 06, Videoprototype, WS1415

In the past two weeks, we developed a concept to improve the everyday life for employees and clients of the Bahnhofsmission München.

To do so, we conducted interviews with our target group to identify their needs or problems. We then decided to focus on two topics: On the one hand, we wanted our concept to achieve a shortened, more pleasant and meaningful waiting time for clients and find a way to strengthen their self-esteem. On the other hand we were looking for a way to reduce the employees’ work load and provide them with a system that allows them to identify and refer to their clients unambiguously.

Our solution primarily tries to enable communication between clients. It consists of a simple infoscreen in the waiting room, which shows the requests a client has entered into a specially designed app on a tablet at the front desk. Other waiting clients can then identify the person seeking help through the unique colour-combination of their mug, displayed beside the request on the infoscreen, and may approach that person if they are able and willing to help.

We choose mugs as objects for identification because they are already widely in use (tea is offered for free at the Bahnhofsmission). This solution also respects two fundamental requirements: It allows the clients to stay completely anonymous but does not use a bureaucratic and inflexible numbering system.

Clients now have the possibility to not only seek help, but to help their peers. They may discover that they are not alone in their particular situation. Furthermore, this reduces waiting times for clients and working times for employees.

In the future there might even be an online platform for client-communication, regulated by the Bahnhofsmission. In the end, we are quite sure that the clients would quickly adopt our concept and it could be easily introduced in the Bahnhofsmission in general.

MediOPad

Group 09, Videoprototype, WS1415

After the analysis of our collected data some interesting problems concerning the usage of medical equipment during an operation arose.

Due to the fact that the surgeon has to remain sterile during the entire operation, he has to communicate his instructions to a nurse.

And because it cannot be granted that a nurse will always be available we came op with a better solution.

 

We developed a concept of a touchpad that is controlled by foot.

The pad accepts simple swipes and taps and therefore the learning curve can be kept shallow.

Our product, called MediOPad, allows us to control the main functionality of medical equipment/machines like regulating the light, managing the amperage, moving a cursor over the screen to teach assistant doctors or even to accept/decline a phone call.

Moreover, the MediOPad has several important advantages.

Nowadays, many procedures rely on direct communication between the nurse and the surgeon. This involves sources of error that could be avoided.

Furthermore, complex procedures are simplified.

 

In the future one could extend the concept with various ideas.

For this purpose we identified a couple of promising extension-points.

One could add a tracking-ball to make moving the cursor even easier.

Another idead was to intoduce modern visualization methods like portable displays or a smart-glass.

 

The FireWatch

Group 08, Videoprototype, WS1415

Our developed product, the FireWatch, is a device which allows firefighters to receive and respond to alarm calls. As of now the firefighters have no option to immediately signal to their superior whether or not they are able to come to the fire station. This leads to the inability to plan operations ahead – the units are grouped into squads only on site causing serious delays. Furthermore some firefighters will be assigned less frequently than others, decreasing their motivation and working morale.

In case of an emergency the FireWatch enables the firefighters to respond to their commanders by simply swiping up- or downward on the screen, respectively rejecting or accepting the alarm call. The underlying back-end system keeps track of the firefighters’ positions and calculates their estimated time of arrival. Based on this information and additional parameters such as the firefighters’ operation participation frequency the system builds the squads.

The FireWatch complies with all official regulations and laws as it transmits via voice radio frequencies and not via mobile radio frequencies, which may overload and collapse on special occasions such as new years’ eve. On the one hand our system increases the overall motivation and working morale of the firefighters on a long-term basis because it ensures that every firefighter gets assigned to operations equally. On the other hand the commander’s time spent planning decreases enabling him to focus his attention on other important tasks.

The FireWatch can be extended with smartphone applications showing additional data regarding the alarm call or the operation ahead.

FireStrap Pro® – Videoprototype

Group 10, Videoprototype, WS1415

As a lot of fire brigades in Germany operate on a voluntary basis a common problem is, that in case of an emergency the members have to get from their current location to the fire brigade station as fast as possible. As private persons are not allowed to use any devices such as a blue flashing light, obstacles like traffic jams and other restrictions of the public traffic cause massive delays.

We developed a concept in cooperation with the “Freiwillige Feuerwehr” that enables the firefighter to get faster to the mission and at the time it prevents the misuse of our system. And that’s how it works:

Every firefighter is equipped with a wristband – FireStrap Pro. This bracelet includes the following functions: if the centre of operations receives an emergency call, every firefighter is notified via the bracelet. It vibrates and the firefighter has the choice to accept or decline to participate in the operation. When he chooses to participate he presses the green button (otherwise the red one). This action unlocks the flashing blue light which is inside his or her car. If the firefighter gets inside the bluetooth range the flashing blue light and the FireStrap Pro connect automatically. The firefighter now is able to rush through the traffic as other participants let him pass. The benefits of this concept are obvious: reduction of time needed to get to the fire brigade station and the prevention of misuse as it is not possible to use the flashing blue light without the unlocking message of the centre of operations.

In the future further extensions or features are possible. Functions which are included in the jawbone for example measuring vital signs or other measures could be incorporated in the device. Furthermore it could be connected to the CO2-Warner and vibrate if critical measured values are exceeded.

 Fast and without unnecessary risks to the operation despite of traffic jams and other restraints using a flashing blue light that can be unlocked individually. No opportunity for misuse and more time to save lives. – The new FireStrap Pro.

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VIDEO PROTOTYPE – Take Your Time

Group 03, Videoprototype, WS1415

Our User Group was the “Bayerische Forstverwaltung” at the Odeonsplatz in Munich. In our research we found the employees to have major issues with the time tracking system currently in place.

Especially when working in the field, employees are required to track their work times both manually on paper and later on digitally as well.

Even at the office the system is prone to human and machine errors.

As a solution for this problem we developed Take Your Time – a fully automatic, easy-to-use time tracking system.

Here’s our video prototype:

Our approach includes features like a multifunctional keychain, which tracks the employees working time in the field and delivers this data to the time management system automatically.

A sensor at the doors detects the keychain of employees and recognizes them entering and leaving. This way the system tracks their attendance.

It may also be used as an access control system.

Take Your Time includes a time management software, where employees are able to control their clocking times. In addition supervisors can approve requests for holidays, field service and other external duties.

The service is less time consuming, totally paperless and reduces the complexity for both employees and companies to a minimum.

By taking out most active interaction we also reduce the potential for errors.

As possible future extensions we considered integrating payment systems, e.g. for canteens and similar chip-based systems. Given its universal and scalable nature, our system could also be applied to other and larger institutions.

VIDEOPROTOTYPE: MY SCHOOLBOX

Concept, Group 04, WS1415

MySchoolbox is an online collaborative application for primary school teachers providing digital organization of teaching materials, automated planning, lessons preparation and automated printing into the classroom.

The teachers upload their material to My Schoolbox where it is available for all colleagues. When someone wants to create their schedule for the coming week he gets worksheet suggestions based on the general lesson plan for each subject. When completed they can immediately print their records to their respective classrooms instead of the common teachers’ room. After class the sheets can also be rated, so the quality of the used material is steadily improved. All this can be done at home, at work or on the go.

The benefits are closely linked to digitalization which saves space and time and enables mobility. The search for material is simplified and the teamwork is strenghened. Since all the steps of lesson peparation are combined in one tool certain tasks can be automated. My Schoolbox undertakes the creation of the weeks documentation, the sorting by corriculum and sending the material to the printer.

For the next steps we have a broad variety of challenges we can tackle. The most interesting next feature is the integration of internal communication between the teachers and external communication from the teacher to the parents in our app. This would replace the huge pile of paper that gets wasted every day by printing everything that needs to be officially communicated. Another interesting topic is the digitalization of the whole evaluation process. Starting from the automated blue-penciling of exams to translating school certificates for parents with migrant background.

Concept – Bahnhofsmission

Concept, Group 06, WS1415

In the past days we analysed our interviews and identified two user groups: the employees & their clients.

Using various tools we identified the two main needs:

  • How might we make waiting times for clients more pleasant/meaningful?
  • How might we make it possible for employees to refer to anonymous clients?

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We propose to use the already widely used tea cups as an identifiable object assigned to each client which will be used in the following concept: Clients can note their concerns, state the colour-combination of their mug and publish it on a screen in the waiting room. Other waiting clients see these issues, identify the person seeking help through the mug and may decide to help these people themselves. This reduces waiting times for clients, strengthens the self-confidence of helping clients and decreases the work amount of employees. Additionally the employees have a simple way to recognize waiting clients through these cups, while respecting their anonymity.