DHL Supply Chain is entering the next phase of its Vision Picking Program, a trial of augmented reality technology that began in the Netherlands, in partnership with Google, Vuzix and Ubimax.
The trial so far has focused on enhancing manual processes on the shop floor: pickers, referred to in the context of the trial as “pilots”, are equipped with smart glasses that allow them to find and scan items more quickly, and show them where each picked item needs to be placed in the trolley. This allows for speedier picking and reduced error rates.
(Image credit: DHL)
In the next stage of trialling, the same technology will be applied to different sectors such as the retail, automotive, technology and consumer industries. Trials will be undertaken in the United Kingdom, United States and Mainland Europe.
Beyond picker efficiency, the DHL press release doesn’t specify which applications of the technology it will explore next, citing only “broader implementation”. But DHL estimates that the augmented reality market is due to grow $150 billion by 2020, and suggests that the technology’s potential is still very much untapped.