Digital vision: DHL staff don smart glasses to be perfect pickers

DHL Supply Chain is rolling out the next phase of its Vision Picking Programme that equips order pickers with smart glasses to display where packages need to be placed in the next stage of the supply chain.
Successful trials of the “augmented reality technology” in the Netherlands with partners Google, Vuzix and Ubimax will now see DHL expand the programme across different industry sectors on a global scale.
DHL said that vision picking enables hands free order picking at a faster pace, along with reduced error rates.
The smart glasses will be piloted across various industries such as technology, retail, consumer and automotive industries. The data available from these pilots will further determine the technology’s potential for broader implementation.
The pilot sites are spread across the US, mainland Europe and the UK, with the Ricoh facility in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, where the solution was first tested, being the launch site for this new exploration phase.
John Gilbert, chief executive supply chain, said: “We are excited to further test and develop vision picking as a solution that can be readily available to our customers.
“More importantly, this technology is not just one step towards digitalising manual processes on the shop floor, it also takes us one step closer towards Industry 4.0.”
Gilbert added: “Testing technologies like augmented reality, robotics and Internet of Things will continue to be a big part of our DNA.”
DHL added that the augmented reality and virtual reality market will be “the next big thing after smartphones”.
Goldman Sachs estimates in its base case a $80bn market for both virtual and augmented reality by 2025, while M&A advisory firm Digi-Capital predicts a total volume of $150bn by 2020.
Air Cargo News is co-hosting the Air Cargo Innovation Lab at Frankfurt Airport in September where DHL will be speaking about innovation in logistics. For more information, click here.

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