How to design the annual ring counter app

How to design the annual ring counter app

First you have to decide which features are needed in the app. We have come to the following conclusion:

  • Be able to take pictures of the drill core with the highest possible quality.
  • Be able to merge several images into one.
  • Be able to count the annual rings and save the result.
  • Be able to see a list of drill cores and count afterwards.

It would also be good to let an AI count the annual rings, export the measurements, measure the width of the annual rings and see the drill cores on a map. But they could wait to version two. We first need to prove that it is possible to take pictures of drill cores with good quality.

Usually when you design apps, you start with a paper sketch or in some design program. In this case, it is a lot of exploration of technical possibilities and limitations that will lead to the app’s design, so we choose to start by programming the app and see where it goes. It is a risky way as it can lead to time consuming adjustments in the end.

To be able to take the pictures with the highest possible quality, I want to be able to use the maximum size of the image sensor. The image sensor is 3000 x 4000 pixels. To be able to use maximum width (4000 px), the app must be used in landscape mode when photographing the drill core (Camera View). Then we have to build a screen where we can count the annual rings (Image view) and one where we can see the drill cores in a table (Table view).

If you are out in the woods, you want to photograph annual rings and be able to check the photo quality and maybe count the annual ring. If you are in the office, you want to be able to look at previously photographed drill cores and count annual rings.

Therefore, we need to be able to navigate between the different views and here is a suggestion of what it might look like:

The Camera view needs to include the following:

  • Graphic help to place the drill core in the middle of the screen.
  • Show previously photographed image so that it is easier to photograph the drill core in the next image
  • Feedback if it was a a succesful stitch.
  • Be able to see if the image are sharp before pressing the shutter button.
Annual ring counter app

To be able to count the annual rings, the following is needed in the Image view:

  • Be able to zoom into the image
  • Count annual rings manually, mark every tenth annual ring and add up automatically.
  • Be able to save the measurement.
Image view
Detailview -save measurement

The Table view is should be a standard type where you can delete drill cores and select the one you want to look at in the Image View.

The next step is to test the app in the field and see if it works as expected. We will probably discover things that need to change.

Our schedule is to send out the app for testing at the end of March. Feel free to register your interest here.

If you missed our previous articles on how we created the app, feel free to read more:

  1. Do you need an app to count annual rings?
  2. Which iPhone is best to photograph annual rings with?