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    Introduction to the KDSmart application

KDSmart for scoring in the field is for anyone, not only breeders and researchers, who needs to efficiently and accurately measure and record phenotypic observations. With inbuilt flexibility to satisfy diverse user requirements it operates on a variety of Android handheld phones and tablets.

Adjustable to your needs for your:
Comfort - left or right hand;
Vision - dark or light for glare;
Efficiency - minimal touch data input;
Accuracy - input validation and locking;
Understanding - using your terminology.

Part of an integrated "KDDart platform", KDSmart's important role is collecting data in the field and connecting to database to ensure your hard work is secure in long term storage, available to you and others if you need to share.
'Standalone operation' is also possible, importing/exporting Trial data using CSV files when needed.

Landscape orientation

However you choose to use it for your field data collection, KDSmart assists users efficiently and accurately maximise their endeavours in the field.

This page provides a brief introduction to KDSmart.

Concepts - Terminology

Experience has shown us that many users refer to the same thing or activity by different names. This table will assist and KDSmart does allow some custom attribute naming for the interface.

Trials A Study, Experiment, Nursery, Project, etc. Multiple Trials may be loaded into KDSmart.
Traits The phenotypic characteristic being monitored or scored for each Plot or Specimen (e.g. Height, colour, etc.).
Tags Shorthand labels to enable quick annotation of a specimen from a preset selection list.
Plots Trials contain multiple 'plots' - areas, spaces or even pots, uniquely identified by a PlotID or by CoOrdinate (Column/Row Id) pairs, or both.
Specimen The single 'unit' or 'entity' to be measured/scored. Multiple specimens can be scored within a Plot and not all specimens need to be scored.
Collection Order
The way of progressing or walking through a field or area in which data is to be collected.
Days since planting Ability to enter a date (i.e. by selecting 'Today') which is automatically converted to the number of days since planting, e.g. for recording anthesis.
Attachments Photos/video captured from the devices camera, audio from the microphone or file(s) uploaded and attached.

Key Objectives

Developed over a number of years, KDSmart has been adapted to address a broad range of user requirements from DArT's diverse user communities. A summary of key objectives are:

Flexibility The interface, nomenclature and behaviour can be adjusted to suit your needs, be they terminology, language or your organisation/industry standards;
Accuracy Reduce data recording errors by minimising data entry, preventing accidental change with trait locking, improved trait validation and consistent commenting using tags;
Connectivity Work with existing tools or the integrated KDXplore and KDDart - If needed Trials can be imported/exported from/to CSV/Excel files;
Usability Field situations vary, day by day, hour by hour, so KDSmart aims to be flexible and adjustable when you need it - to present information when you want it, filtered to just display what you want.
Affordability DArT especially aims to assist projects with minimal resources on small budgets by providing KDSmart freely on the Google Play Store and to provide flexible options for the KDDart suite.

Scoring Screen

KDSmart has a variety features to assist scoring efficiently such as a customisable scoring screen (illustrated below), adaptable to your needs at the time. It may simply be to improve screen visibility at a certain time of day.
Some of KDSmart features for scoring are:

  • Score or tag specimens or plots singularly or in multiples (1, 2 or 4) (two shown in the example);
  • Add photos/audio or new specimen(s);
  • Deactivate specimens or plots;
  • Display or hide traits/attributes from displaying;
  • Lock scored traits to prevent accidental changes;
  • Change the collection order;
  • Swap progression buttons to opposite side (for left or right preference, or just to rest a hand);
  • Alternate the view from portrait to landscape (shown);
  • Navigate directly to specific plots with FieldView or Search;
  • Switch to Auto-Scoring or Bluetooth Scanning for faster capture;

Locking, using KDXplore, to disable some of this flexibility.

This is just a glimpse of some KDSmart functionality.

Views of the scoring screen

Field Layouts

A field represents the 'area of interest' or 'study' which will have some sort of arrangement or 'field layout'. The arrangement, or field layout, is flexible and is usually dependant on what types of organism is being studied (e.g. 1000 pots, 200 trees, 3 ponds, etc).

In KDSmart the 'field layout' representation for your Trial can use the terminology of your choice, i.e. Row, Range, PlotID, SpecimenID, TreeID, etc.

Field layouts can be represented using either Coordinates (x,y), PlotID or both methods.

The following diagram illustrates both methods. For the Coordinate method an 'origin corner' is selected and the PlotID layout uses an Origin PlotID and a 'Run Length' (3 in the example).

Field Layouts by CoOrdinate or PlotID

Traits and Tags

Traits are what is being monitored/measured or scored and their validation rules assist to ensure quality data is recorded. Tags are a quick or shorthand means to record annotations, instead of typing comments.

Traits and Tags are usable across multiple Trials and a 'standard set' of these can be distributed to multiple KDSmart devices, which also may be disbursed in many different physical locations or even countries. Traits and Tags can be imported/exported using CSV files and also can be managed though KDXplore.

Traits may be defined using different data types (see the table below) and this will facilitate improved data entry, such as with the Categorical Type. These present a dropdown list of valid values for selection (e.g. in the Categorical example only Blue, Yellow or Red will be accepted for the Trait).

Dates are handled using a calendar and values such as 'Days since planting' are easily recorded (see inset) without need for manual calculation.

Trait data types and validation rules

If required new Traits and Tags can be created in the field.

CSV Import/Export

When required data can easily be transferred to and from KDSmart using CSV files for Trials, Traits and Tags. If KDSmart is being used without KDXplore or the KDDart platform, CSV files are the primary means for data transfer.

To assist with importing data into KDSmart a user friendly embedded column mapping feature, shown below, eases the data import task for smoother, less error prone data transfers.

Partial example of Trial import from CSV mapping

If KDXplore is also being used, CSV import can alternatively be performed there, then possibly transferred to several KDSmart devices if needed (instead of performing multiple imports).

Once imported, trial data is stored within KDSmart's internal database. This provides protection and integrity to your data and efficient storage and access so KDSmart can quickly access your data.


Progressing through the Trial scoring in a systematic manner is fine, until you spot something of interest two rows away, perhaps the first flower you missed. Selecting Field View allows you to quickly select the plot's record to check or change values, before returning to your current path.

Using Field View you can zoom in or out for more or less information for the whole Trial, see what might have been missed with scoring Traits or those with high or low values that may require closer inspection. Easy to do when asking a colleague to 'have a look at these' when seeking a second opinion.

Search for scored information, filter to display (highlighted in yellow as illustrated), then quickly navigated or jumped to those records just by touching the cell. Criteria for searching includes specific Traits, their values or unscored/scored, along with highlight what was scored after a specific date and time.

A 'zoomed out' Field View with selected 'yellow' cells


Connectivity of the Android device is dependent upon the device, however, most tablets should have WiFi and Bluetooth capability along with memory card and USB connections. Standard copying of data via CSV files can be achieved with these methods.

More advanced connectivity is achievable by KDSmart connecting to KDXplore and/or KDDart for data transfers (Trials, Tags and Traits). By using KDXplore on a computer/laptop with WiFi capability a 'private network' can be used to transfer data between multiple KDSmart devices and KDXplore, such as when away from the office.

KDSmart also connects via Bluetooth with Barcode Scanners to assist with input when required and configured.

More Information

For more information about your phenotypic data management and genotyping needs contact us and also explore:

KDSmart is available for free from the Google Play Store.