BASF and intive together for the future of farming

BASF Digital Farming GmbH

14 min read

Overview

A pioneer in the digital transformation of agriculture, BASF has joined forces with intive to creatively tackle the challenges in large- and small-scale farming with an ingenious and easy-to-use pocket solution.

Services

UX, Mobile, iOS, Android, backend, AI, microservices

Client

BASF Digital Farming GmbH

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF Digital Farming is a business unit within the Agricultural Solutions segment that has introduced a future-oriented digital portfolio to modern-day farmers.

Industry

Industrial

Feeding the world

The world’s population is continually growing, driving up global food demand. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, feeding humanity will require a 50% increase in the production of food and other agricultural products by 2050. Farmers need to become more productive and diversified, while coping with climate change and natural resource constraints.

 

Addressing the challenges of modern agriculture, BASF, the world’s largest chemical producer, decided to help farmers all over the globe grow crops more efficiently and to optimize the potential of their fields and crop zones. xarvio™ Digital Farming Solutions revolutionize modern agriculture, boosting production and simplifying the farmers’ work.

Digital transformation in agriculture means precision farming with innovative and easy-to-use tools, and community-driven decision support systems based on real-time insights. 


Absolute innovation

In 2017, xarvio’s representatives found the perfect partner: a company with vast experience in native mobile development and the ability to provide premium software with short time-to-market deployment. Together with intive’s forward thinkers, BASF has created one of its signature digital products – the xarvio™ SCOUTING app, which makes farming more precise, efficient and sustainable.

 

The xarvio™ SCOUTING app presents a radically different take on modern-day agriculture. It allows farmers to identify weeds, determine and count insects in yellow traps, recognize plant diseases, analyze leaf-damage and check nitrogen status – simply by taking a smartphone picture. Additionally, app users can benefit from the data gathered by other farmers, and find out in advance whether any plant diseases are emerging nearby.

 

Big thinking & tangible products

To kick-start the project, the xarvio team and intive’s UX Designers held a series of workshops to paint a clear picture of the possible goals. After a thorough review and analysis of the necessary requirements, high-level architecture plans were introduced, as well as UX guidelines and wireframes. The primary focus was to design a clear, intuitive and functional application that meets users’ needs.

 

When the vision was defined, four dedicated teams – one on xarvio’s side and three on intive’s – started working simultaneously on the software. To achieve the highest scalability, intive’s backend team followed the microservices approach. A complex, yet reliable backend infrastructure was built on Amazon Web Services.

intive’s teams were spread over five different locations in Poland and Germany, whereas the teams on the customer side were based in Brazil, Germany, France, India, Canada, and the USA. The project’s challenging setup with international collaboration across time zones proved once again that that national borders don’t apply to tech.

 

AI-powered incredible tool

The uniqueness of the xarvio™ SCOUTING app lies in its learning image recognition algorithms, developed by xarvio’s dev team. They enable instant object identification based on color, shape, morphology and other visible characteristics. intive made sure that all AI algorithms connect properly with the frontend data input and the backend actions, guaranteeing a smooth performance. 

 

Fulfilling xarvio’s requirements, intive added in offline support, ensuring that the application will remain partly operational even when disconnected from the Internet. As a result, the xarvio™ SCOUTING app can be used by farmers all over the world, even in regions with weak Wi-Fi connections or poor cellular coverage. In the next phase, AI algorithms enabling database searches will also be fully functional offline, offering users unlimited assistance.

Mobile expertise

intive’s frontend teams created intuitive iOS and Android applications that are easy-to-use and require no special devices or user knowledge.

 

The teams leveraged Swift and Kotlin for state-of-the-art native apps. A strong mobile development portfolio helped with designing user-friendly interfaces that make the digital farming experience even more satisfying. Additionally, a web-based back office app was created to allow data configuration and notification setting for xarvio™ SCOUTING. Appium was used to automate end-to-end user interface testing.

Anything is possible

With a fast-paced Agile approach and a Scrum working model, the teams were able to manage their work capacity unbelievably quickly. Thanks to this dynamic workflow, xarvio™ SCOUTING apps were ready and released to the market in just six months! xarvio officially presented both the new xarvio brand and the SCOUTING app at Agritechnica 2017, the leading trade fair for agricultural innovators.

 

The apps, available from the Apple App Store and Google Play, are now receiving excellent industry and user reviews (4.5/5 in the App Store). With close to 500,000 downloads, the xarvio™ SCOUTING user base is growing by the minute across more than forty countries. Over two dozen intivers are now refining and improving the app with xarvio, preparing new country-specific versions, as well as enabling their smooth running on multiple devices. The driving force behind all this success is innovation, paired with a long-term partnership approach.
Creating xarvio™ SCOUTING was a huge challenge. At first, we didn’t believe that it would be possible to deliver a fully functional product in such a short time. It’s fair to say that we benefited greatly from our cooperation with intive.

Tobias Menne

BASF Head of Digital Farming

Challenge everything!
About pattern image