Harvard graduate student Chengrui Zhang is recording a trench with FAIMS.

From the Project Manager's corner

Printing Labels on the Go

Tao River Project adds mobile label printing to their FAIMS module in 2018

The Tao River Archaeological Project in China has been using FAIMS to record their excavation and sampling activities since 2016. Installing mobile apps on devices in China is not without its challenges, given the inaccessibility of Google (and therefore Play Store) in the country. With meticulous preparation and great patience on the part of project director, Dr Rowan Flad from Harvard University, we have solved this and many other issues. This year Dr Flad wants to connect their field module to a mobile barcode printer to facilitate the production of human- and machine-readable labels. We are, therefore, expanding their FAIMS module to connect to a mobile Zebra printer over the Bluetooth and produce such labels on the basis of existing records at the push of a button. All of the development is happening remotely, with our team in Sydney working with a Zebra printer kindly loaned by the Gamma Solutions, while Dr Flad communicates his needs. He will harness his own mobile printer to test the new functionality after he finishes spring semester in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The success of deploying digital tools in the field depends on the upfront investment of effort by the field researcher into discovering their needs and testing the initial prototypes. The Tao River Project team has demonstrated that digital tools are a priority and the increasingly sophisticated module is a testimony to their successful co-development with FAIMS.