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Innovation Award for FOVEA

With the new FOVEA app, foresters and wood industry employees can count and measure all of the logs on a log pile photo-optically in a quick and simple procedure featuring a smartphone.

16 Mar. 2015
Innovation Award FOVEA

1.2 billion logs per year are gathered in German woods and taken to the wood industry's factories in three million transport operations. The price for a single log of industrial wood has increased from 60 euros to a maximum of 100 euros in the past five years. The crucial price determinants are the quality and dimensions of the wood. How long and how wide are the logs? At present, the wood is measured and counted manually up to five times on its journey from the woods to the sawmill. With the new FOVEA app, foresters and wood industry employees can count and measure all of the logs on a log pile photo-optically in a quick and simple procedure featuring a smartphone.

The FOVEA app uses a number of individual photographs to create a panorama photo, from which users can derive all the information that they require to measure the wood. Instead of the manual measurement process currently used, FOVEA offers a valid, inexpensive and quick wood measurement procedure that gathers the data necessary for calculating the sale price while still in the woods at the beginning of the wood supply chain. Users of the FOVEA app can calculate all of the measurement data in just a few seconds, thereby saving around 95 per cent of the time previously required: work that takes an hour without the app can be completed in around three minutes with it.

And what is more, operating the FOVEA app is as easy as can be: a few photos taken with a smartphone, a couple of clicks to specify the wood type, a check to ensure that all the data are correct – and the result is displayed. Even in this rather unusual field of application, it is evident that the app's systematic user-friendliness is the decisive innovative step. FOVEA’s founders are convinced that by 2018, they will be able to measure a large proportion of the world’s felled timber.

The forester and computer scientist Manfred Ide founded FOVEA together with the software developer Christopher Herbon and the interface designer Nadine Weiberg – all three are graduates of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen.

They started to develop the app in 2013 and have now got it ready for the market.

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