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FAQ agroscience for Android


Hardware, system requirements

What are the hardware requirements for smatrix Android?

Basically smatrix works from devices with Android 8, but we recommend you to use a device with at least Android 10. smatrix requires at least the following hardware for smooth and reliable operation:  smartphone or tablet with Android 6, 2GB RAM and 500MB free system memory (when using a language). For optimal perfomance we recommend Android 10 or higher, 4GB RAM and 1GB free system memory.

What smartphone or tablet do you recommend for using smatrix?

Any device that meets the hardware requirements and your own specific requirements (price, battery life, outdoor use etc.).

Typical smartphones and tablets that our customers use are:

  • Nokia XR20
  • Samsung Galaxy XCover series
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Active series
  • Other IP68 certified devices like
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
    • Google Pixel 6
    • Sony Xperia

Does GPS work? Do I have the current GPS coordinates?

smatrix has no influence on the GPS localisation/location detection of your device or third-party software. It is not possible to navigate to individual test plots using GPS, as the accuracy is not sufficient to do so.

smatrix for Android allows you to determine your current location using GPS localisation and store it in the 'Location' info field.



What features should I look for in a headset?

The selection of headsets that are suitable for both, use with speech recognition software and use in rough work environments is very small. We therefore recommend the following features:

  • a microphone with active noise cancellation
  • a microphone foam windscreen (can be purchased separately)
  • USB connection type C/Micro-USB, as jack plugs can rotate in the socket and impair the speech recognition
  • the frequency range for voice input (microphone) should be at least 12 kHz (better still 16 kHz)
  • optional: built-in controls including a mute button on headset/cable

Can I use a Bluetooth headset?

We recommend using a cable headset, as the voice audio quality of Bluetooth headsets is subject to large fluctuations - depending on the combination of headset and device and the respective codecs.

In theory, most Android 8.0 and higher devices support Bluetooth codecs with a sufficiently high sampling rate and sampling depth. In practice, however, not every headset device combination selects the best codec for a Bluetooth connection. The resulting loss of data can lead to the fact that the voice audio quality is not sufficient for smatrix.

Therefore, test whether your individual combination of Bluetooth headset and smartphone/tablet is sufficient for smatrix.  For recommendations on currently available smartphone/headset combinations, please feel free to contact us via chat or support(at)smatrix.systems.

What headset do you recommend?

The selection of headsets that are suitable for both, use with speech recognition software and use in rough work environments is very small. We recommend using a cable headset, as the voice audio quality of Bluetooth headsets is subject to large fluctuations - depending on the combination of headset and device and the respective codecs.

For recommendations on currently available smartphone / headset combinations, please feel free to contact us via chat or support(at)smatrix.systems.

Will the software be affected by background noise (wind, colleagues, rustling plants)?

smatrix was developed for applications in rough working environments (field trials, climate chambers, etc.) where background noise is present. The prerequisite for interference-free speech recognition is a headset with sufficiently strong noise cancellation.

Can I use the headsets in rainy and windy conditions?

There are only a few headsets that are suitable for use with voice recognition software as well as for use in rough working environments. Therefore, we recommend wearing the headset under a waterproof hood when it is raining and using a windscreen (e.g., made of foam) when it is windy. It should be a headset used where microphone is equipped with a sufficient noise cancellation. If necessary, the headset drivers should be kept up to date.



What are the differences between the Windows and Android version of smatrix?

The most important difference is that smatrix for Windows works directly in Excel while smatrix for Android uses its own data table, that can be exported as an Excel or CSV file after completion of the assessment/data input. 

You can find a detailed comparison of both versions here: Feature comparison Android vs. Windows.

Can I take a call while carrying out an assessment with smatrix?

Yes – when a call is received and answered, smatrix automatically pauses speech recognition so you can take your call in peace.

How do I delete hierarchy levels/traits?

To delete hierarchy levels/traits, click the trashcan or swipe the hierarchy level/trait to the left.

How do I delete trials?

ATTENTION: A deleted trial cannot be restored. Make sure that important data has been exported and stored elsewhere before deleting!

  1. While the trial is open and you are in the grid (spreadsheet), click the three dots in the top-right corner, then on 'Delete'.
  2. If you are in the trial overview, swipe the trial to the left then click the red trashcan.

Saving, auto save / What happens to the data if the battery runs out?

smatrix for Android automatically saves after each individual data entry. If the Android device should switch off due to an empty battery, all data is stored until the last successful entry.

How to export/process the trail data collected?

Open the trial and click on the three-dot button in the upper right corner. Then click on 'Export and send'. Select the format (Excel or CSV) and then the app you want to use the file with, e.g. 'Bluetooth' to send the file via Bluetooth to another device or an email app to send the file as an email attachment.

CSV export does not export contents of the info fields to the CSV file, as this would mess up the format. 

The "JSON" export format is used to export the trial structure. Here hierarchy levels, value ranges and characteristics can be exported and imported again on another device. Data entered in the table will NOT be exported. 

ATTENTION: Should you click on 'Always' after selecting an app, you will not be able to select another app at first when exporting a score. This option must be changed in the Android system settings; search for 'Default apps' and activate the option 'Ask before setting default app'.

How do I copy a trial on my device?

In the trial overview, swipe a trial to the left and click 'Copy'. 

Alternatively, when a trial is open, click the 'Three Dot Button' in the top right corner and then on 'Copy'.

The info fields, hierarchy levels and traits will be copied. Values entered into the trial will not be copied.

How do I add additional information to a trial?

In the section 'Trial Info', additional information, GPS data or the date can be added to each trial. To do this, open the 'Edit' menu and click on 'Trial Info'. By clicking on the button 'Trial Info' you can select info fields from the info field catalog or create new, individual fields. After you have added the desired fields, you can fill each individual field with information.

The standard field 'Location' will use your device's GPS location. The two standard fields 'Time' and 'Date' will access your device's clock and calendar.

ATTENTION: Trial info fields will not be exported as CSV, since that would mess up the CSV format.

How do I capture comments in a trial?

In addition, you can also enter predefined comments (no free text) directly by voice. Simply use the option to create comments as a new trait and create a ‘wordset value range’. You can now enter your predefined comments as ‘word’ and thus record comments per trial unit.

How do I change the order of traits/hierarchy levels?

The order of traits and hierarchy levels may be edited in the 'Edit trial' menu. Simply use the double-arrow button on the left side of the screen to drag a trait or a hierarchy level upwards or downwards to the desired position. 

ATTENTION: If you change the order of the hierarchy levels, the structure of the trial also changes (e.g. from 10 plots with 5 plants each to 5 plants with 10 plots each).



How does subsampling work?

Subsampling is activated by clicking and opening the "Subsamples" tab when editing the trial. Subsequently, a number of samples per test unit can be defined there for each individual trait (see also here Manual smatrix agroscience for Android10.5 Subsamples).

When subsampling is activated, the progress between cells changes. Please refer to the examples in the manual. (Manual smatrix agroscience for Android11.6.3 Progress).

The following voice commands are available additionally when using subsampling:

  • "Fill with <value>" fills all subsamples of the currently active trait with the specified value
  • "Fill trial unit with <value> / unavailable" fills all traits of the current trial unit (e.g. plot) with <value> / unavailable

Will I be informed about the number of remaining subsamples per plot?

Yes, is “Position feedback off" there is a subsampling countdown which announces after every ten subsamples how many subsamples remain for the current trial unit (e.g. plot). It also announces the fifth-to-last and last samples and confirms when all subsamples have been performed for the current trial unit.

Can a different number of subsamples be measured within the same plot depending on the trait?

Yes, you can configure the number of subsamples per trial unit (e.g. plot) for each individual trait.

How to change the order of subsamples?

You can choose between “Collect together” and “collect individually”. The manual refers to examples (Manual smatrix agroscience for Android12.6.3 Progress).



What languages are available?

smatrix is available in many different languages:

  • German
  • English: American, Australian, British and Indian English (US/AU/UK/IN)
  • French 
  • Italian
  • Spanish: European and Mexican Spanish (ES/MX)
  • Dutch
  • Portuguese: European and Brazilian Portuguese (PT/BR)

With a subscription of smatrix you get access to all these languages.

Can the same assessment be used in different languages?

No, however, after switching to another language, the trail remains in the original language.

Can users with an accent or dialect use smatrix?

Yes, smatrix learns to handle the individual characteristics of every voice through its unique speech technology. This makes smatrix easy to use for anyone with an accent or dialect or speaking a non-native language.

Where can I find a list of voice commands?

If you are in a trial, click the three-dot-symbol in the top-right corner and then on the menu entry “speech commands”. Alternatively, click the ‚settings button’ in the top-left corner in the trial list and then click ‘Help’ and ‘Speech commands’.

Can I correct an incorrectly entered value?

Yes, with the voice command "Correction <new value>" the last entered value is replaced by the <new value> (e.g. "Correction 50" replaces the last entered value with 50).

If you use the voice command "Correction" without a new value, the cell where you last entered a value is selected. This value is not deleted but can be overwritten by entering a new value.

Another option is the "Undo" command. This will undo the last operation that modified values. This also works after commands that write multiple values at once, such as "five times unavailable". All five values entered would be reset to their previous value. With "Redo" you restore the same state as before the "Undo" command.

Does smatrix confirm the value entered/understood?

Yes, with the "Echo" option, smatrix repeats back the recorded value. To toggle this setting at any time, use the voice command "Echo on" or "Echo off".

Does smatrix confirm the current cell position?

Yes, the option "Position on/off" allows a read out of the trial unit and the trait of the selected cell each time you move cells (by automatic progress or direct speech command).

In addition, you can make smatrix read out the trial unit and the trait of the currently selected cell at any time using the speech command "Where am I?".

What happens if I want to talk to my colleagues while in the middle of an assessment?

Deactivate smatrix's voice recognition by saying "Pause" or clicking the microphone button.

If you are using a headset with a mute button, press it to mute the headset microphone.

smatrix doesn’t understand me

If the speech recognition is not working as smoothly as expected please check:

  1. Check that the headset is not muted (mute button).
  2. Check that the microphone of the headset is pointing towards the user's mouth.
  3. Check that smatrix is in "Listen" mode.
  4. If you are using a headset with a microphone that has no or inadequate noise cancellation, smatrix may not be able to understand you when there is loud background noise or wind. It is therefore essential to use a headset with noise cancellation and a windscreen (see Headsets).
  5. Check whether the "Barge in" option is activated. If "Barge in" is deactivated, no voice commands can be given or data entered while smatrix itself is reading something out (e.g. the input echo or the current position after cell change). This means you have to wait for smatrix to finish speaking. If you speak too early, parts of your voice command / data input will not be recognised by smatrix, leading to false entries or failure to understand. So please wait for the beep or the voice feedback to end, then speak.

Outlook on further development

Can I import my trial map/field plan?

This feature is currently under development and is therefore not yet available, unlike our Windows version.

Can I import trial structures (e.g. plot numbers, variety names, treatment stages, ARM RatingShells)?

Yes, with smatrix for Android 2.0 you can import trial structures that have been created on other end devices. The import of ARM rating shells and from other trial management solutions is currently under development and will be published with the next releases.

To transfer trial structures from a smartphone / tablet to another device proceed as follows:

  • Use the export function and select "JSON" as export format (note: collected data will not be exported).
  • Transfer the file to another smartphone / tablet. 
  • Select "Import from JSON" in the trial list and select the corresponding file.
  • If necessary, adjust names and pronunciations in the import dialog.

A detailed description can be found in our manual in chapter 9.

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