I was back in the maltings recently to do a test on a barley sample. I needed to measure the Germinative Capacity, which is defined as the percentage of grains that would germinate under optimal conditions.
Bascially you put 100 grains in a water to which a small amount of hydrogen peroxide has been added and see how many germinate. The hydrogen peroxide kills off any bugs on the surface of the grain, and keeps the water oxygenated, so there's plenty of oxygens available for the grain embryo. A straightforward test, but not one I was looking forward to doing as counting out 100 grains sounded tedious. That is until I saw the seed counter.
Isn't it a thing of wonder? Sadly when it was time to count the germinated grains it was an altogether more manual affair but you can't win 'em all.