Google Glass used in vision picking, scanning and paper work for DHL logistics services

By @s_rituparna on
Google glass
Tiago Amorim of Brazil, poses with a Google Glass eyewear frame in Manhattan, New York September 19, 2014. Reuters/Adrees Latif

Google Glass has proven once again that it can be a useful piece of technology beyond consumer entertainment. Later this year, it will be used to make logistics, product selection and packing in logistics service company  DHL more efficient.

DHL plans to do another experiment with Exel, the freight forwarding arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s supply-chain management business. Later this year, the company is planning to test the “smart glass” devices outfitted with warehouse management software in two U.S warehouses. They intend to replace the handheld scanners and paper job orders with “vision picking.”

As reported by The Wall Street Journal , the Google Glass can help workers to identify the fastest route to find products and can read bar codes as well. It will considerably reduce the time to pick up an item and pack it for shipping. Exel mentioned that such experiments were carried out earlier this year, which reduced time spent on such activities by 25 percent. The company further added that the technology can be best suited in e-commerce warehouses.

“Vision picking enables hands free order picking and greatly increases productivity,” said Jan-Willem De Jong, Business Unit Director Technology, DHL Supply Chain Benelux, in a press statement. “ However, this is just the first step in our innovation journey as we believe augmented reality will become relevant for even more supply chain areas. ”

Adrian Kumar, vice president for solutions design with Exel opined that products available only online require e-fulfillment support for large operations. Kumar also mentioned that technology like Google Glass can be especially helpful during peak periods, when Exel hires thousands of temporary workers.

In January, DHL already successfully carried out a pilot project testing smart glasses and augmented reality in a warehouse in the Netherlands. Workers were guided through the warehouse by graphics displayed on the smart glass to speed up the process and reduce errors. The workers used wearable computers made by Google and Vuzix and software Ubimax GmbH. There were 10 order pickers using the equipment, who managed to pick up more than 20,000 items to fulfill 9,000 orders within the given time frame.

After Jan. 19, Google stopped selling the smart glasses to individual customers. Through “ Glass at Work ”, Google Glass is now targeting businesses rather than individuals. It offers several solutions and applications to streamline business operations. Glass certified partners include Advanced Medical Applications (AMA), APX Labs, Ubimax, Pristine, CrowdOptic and Augmate.

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