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smatrix agroscience

Questions about headsets

What features should I look for in a headset?

  • a microphone with active noise cancellation
  • a microphone windscreen of foam (can be purchased separately)
  • USB connection type C for the most newer Android devices, 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

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. We have had good experiences with the combination of the 'Sennheiser MB Pro 1' headset and 'Samsung Galaxy S9'.

What headset do you recommend?

Cable headsets:

  • Plantronics Blackwire 3200 series – models available with USB-A or USB-C connectors and with one or two earpieces, depending on your preferences/requirements.

Cordless headsets: 

  • Sennheiser MB Pro 1

Can I use a headset in wet/rainy conditions?

Yes – beneath a waterproof hood.

Can I use smatrix in windy conditions?

Yes – if your headset microphone has a windscreen (e.g. made of foam) and adequate noise cancellation, you can even use smatrix in windy conditions. It may help to keep your headset drivers updated.

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

smatrix can also be used in environments where background noise is present. For this to work properly, you must create a voice profile for the environment in question and use a headset with adequate noise cancellation.

Questions about hardware

What are the hardware requirements for smatrix Android?

smatrix Android requires hardware with Android 6 or later.

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.).

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

Questions about software

What are the differences between the Windows and the Android versions 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, CSV or PDF file after completion of the assessment/data input. 

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 do I copy a trial?

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 comments/additional information to a trial?

Additional information or meta data may be added in the 'Trial Info' section. Click on 'Add Info Field' to choose info fields from the catalog or create new, customized ones. After adding the required info field to you trial, data may be entered into them. 

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

ATTENTION: Trial info fields will not be exported as CSV, since that would mess up the CSV format. If info field data are required, please export as XLSX or PDF file.

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).

smatrix agroscience

Questions about language/pronunciation

What languages are supported?

smatrix for Android is available in German, English (US/UK), French, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese (PT/BR). With a subscription of smatrix for Android 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 an assessment, click the question mark in the top-right corner. Alternatively, click the exclamation mark in the assessment overview, then click Voice Command.

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.

Alternatively, you can navigate to a cell directly (e.g. with the voice command "Back"/"Previous", by clicking the cell or by stating the trial unit and trait, e.g. "Plot 10, downy mildew") and then enter the new value.

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, when "Prompts" are activated ("Prompts on"), smatrix will read out the trial unit and the trait of the selected cell each time you move cells (by automatic progress, click or direct voice 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 voice command "Where am I?" / "Current position".

Can I dictate comments/notes by voice?

No, but this feature is currently in development.

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.

Can two people speak into the same "smatrix device"?

Even if several microphones are connected to one device, smatrix only accepts the input of one microphone. This can be selected in the settings menu under 'Audio' > 'Voice input'.

If two users are to use a single instance of smatrix while completing an assessment, the best solution is for only person A to wear a headset connected to smatrix. Person A enters their own data by voice. Person B calls out their data to Person A, who repeats Person B's data into the microphone to enter it into smatrix. This takes a certain amount of discipline and it means person A has to speak a lot, so we recommend that each person completing an assessment uses their own instance of smatrix.

smatrix doesn’t understand me

This can have various causes:

  1. Check if smatrix is receiving input from the correct headset ('Settings' > 'Audio' > 'Voice input').
  2. Check that the headset is not muted (mute button).
  3. Check that the microphone of the headset is pointing towards the user's mouth.
  4. Check that smatrix is in "Listen" mode.
  5. 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).
  6. 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)?

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

How do I add comments to a plot?

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

Can I use my ARM RatingShells?

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

Can I use my piaf trial results page?

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

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