The Digital Lab

What if ...

Dec 4, 2019 12:00:00 AM / by Paul Planje

...our workplace would communicate with us? No, we are not talking about our never-ending smalltalking colleagues or about our daily meetings (in which more is said than is said anyway). Rather, we want to devote ourselves to digital voice control, which can provide significantly increased efficiency in the laboratory of the future.

Alexa, Siri and Co. have long been part of everyday life in private households. Even if one can argue here excellently over data protection problems and interception attempts: The sales figures of the digital assistants speak for themselves. So what if we were to integrate the language assistants into our everyday work in the lab?

1. Simplified documentation
From the very first semester at university, future scientists learn about the importance of clean, comprehensive documentation. Because only if every single step of an experiment is clearly documented in writing do the results have value. Even though in recent years the majority of writing has been digital: It is still written. And writing still means: Both hands and the head are "occupied". And all other work has to wait until the documentation is done.
This is different with a digital language assistant. Here, the results of the experiments can be dictated "in real time," i.e. exactly when they occur. Loss of time equals zero.

2. Access to all data. Anytime. Everywhere
Language assistants have the nice feature of not only being able to record words, but also to play them back. Are you sitting at your desk right now and need instant information? Just ask your digital assistant. Would you like to find out more about the exact sequence of an experiment? One sentence is enough and the assistant reads out the to-do lists to you. You just have a pipette in your right hand and a petri dish in your left and need to know what your colleague was working on yesterday? Exactly, your assistant will give you the answer. Reliable, fast - and only at your call.

3. Optimized workflow
Over time, your personal language assistant can become a true all-round genius at your workplace. The more data, updates, reminders or lists you make available to your assistant during your daily work in the lab, the more comprehensive the capabilities will be. Whether you create extensive timelines, share them with your team or catalog, sort and enrich your research results in your personal space: With spoken words, you can do this more efficiently, quickly and effectively.

Is the pen now obsolete? Are keyboards and notepads ready for the museum? Of course, we don't want to go that far here. Nevertheless, we see language assistants as a realistic part of the future, especially in the laboratory.

What is your opinion on the subject? Do you see any use in language assistants or is that nothing more than a nice, but in the end superfluous toy for you? We are looking forward to your comments!
Paul Planje

Written by Paul Planje

Ich arbeite seit 1992 an Themen wie Effizienz und Produktivitätssteigerung. Zunächst in den Bereichen Labor und Forschung. Hier machte ich meine Erfahrungen mit analytischen Instrumenten und Automatisierung. Mit dem Wechsel in den Vertrieb kamen Unternehmenslösungen wie Scientific Data Management Systems (SDMS), Laborinformationssysteme (LIMS), Laboratory Execution Systems (LES), Elektronische Laborzeitschriften (ELN) und Dokumentenmanagementsysteme (DMS) hinzu. In den letzten Jahren habe ich mich mit der Digitalisierung von Prozessen und deren Messungen beschäftigt. Seit 2019 leite ich die iVention DACH-Region und unterstütze unsere Kunden beim Einstieg in die digitale Laborwelt.