By Jeffrey Slevin and Ronald May, Lucas Systems, Inc.
A new class of mobile work execution solutions is transforming warehouse operations by shattering the distinctions between RF/barcode scanning systems and voice-picking applications. These smart warehouse apps combine voice direction, speech recognition, device displays, and barcode scanning to optimize hands-on warehouse tasks. They enable process and workflow innovations that drive new levels of accuracy and productivity above and beyond what was possible with earlier voice-only or scan-only systems.
In this paper we describe the transition from voice-only warehouse applications delivered on special-purpose voice hardware to today’s voice-scan-and-display based smart apps that run on versatile, general-purpose mobile computers. We outline the technical and financial forces that drove the convergence of voice and RF applications, and explain how smart mobile apps are taking advantage of powerful, rugged smartphones and other innovative wearable devices. These next-generation solutions incorporate richer user capabilities delivered on more powerful, functional and lightweight devices offering industrial-class durability at a fraction of the cost of first-generation voice-only hardware. Most importantly, these new apps deliver groundbreaking efficiency, accuracy, and adaptability to changing business and operational requirements.
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