I guess we understood and felt wearable technology most clearly with smart watches.
Today, smart watches do not replace phone menus any more. It started to be involved in the processes even in commercial matters. Speaking with other devices and providing uninterrupted communication. Dozens of new devices that increase operational efficiency in the logistics sector have already been added to accessories such as glasses, wristbands and watches.
Although various technological applications are encountered at different layers of the supply chain, it is possible to say the warehouse side as the area where technology is most deeply penetrated. It is evaluated by experts that technology-supported improvement studies in warehouse operations can contribute around 30% to warehouse efficiency. The use of technology eliminates manual entries in warehouse management and automates many processes, setting a good example for the logistics industry.
Thanks to the wearable technology, the information of the products can be accessed effortlessly in the warehouses of cargo and logistics companies, and the devices can be used without causing movement impairment thanks to the wearing of the device. It also eliminates manual entry of data logging with automatic processing, which increases the margin of accuracy.
Thanks to the increase in accuracy and automatic data collection, the processes carried out are accelerated and it provides significant cost savings.
In addition to financial gains, employees who use the device are monitored from body temperature to heart rhythm and provide early intervention by warning in case of an unusual situation.
DHL recently completed a pilot project testing smart glasses and augmented reality systems at a warehouse in the Netherlands; the result conveyed a 25 percent yield increase during the collection process.
Smart glasses provide information about where items are located and where they should be placed, as well as visual images of order picking instructions.
Not only warehouse management. Also designed for drivers, smart glasses can recognize the best route to certain items thanks to their indoor navigation capabilities, thus significantly reducing travel time with more efficient route planning.
Augmented reality systems currently offered by companies such as Knapp, SAP, and Ubimax consist of a smart glasses display, camera, wearable computer and battery pack.
Another technology is a tattoo-like product made of skin-compatible ingredients. MIT PhD students and a team from Microsoft Research have developed a new system called DuoSkin, a type of “smar”’ tattoo that can turn your skin into an interface to control your mobile device. DuoSkin is a manufacturing process that allows anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly to their skin. It has three types of on-skin interfaces using gold metal leaf, which is an inexpensive, skin-friendly and sturdy material for daily use. These are: Touch input sensing, output display and wireless communication. DuoSkin devices allow users to control their mobile devices, view information, and store information in their binder, while serving as a personal style statement.
Another technology is smart watches. Based on the Pebble Smartwatch, W&H Systems “Shiraz” allows warehouse managers to collect critical key performance indicators to better manage deployment and fulfillment operations from the wrist. A warehouse manager can be at the meeting and see the activity that requires him to make an immediate decision on his smartwatch and action can be taken on his smartwatch.
With the Shiraz Warehouse Control System, they can look at key KPIs to ensure customer orders and service levels are met, monitor stock levels and audit operational performance. With the smartwatch, they can also receive emails, voicemails, text messages and notifications that allow them to see what is happening in their distribution operations. They stated that Shiraz visualizes warehouse operations and provides critical incident reporting with email and text alerts that keep management up-to-date 24/7.
Compared to the examples above, barcode readers used in the form of rings, which are more accessible in the sector, are used. With the barcodes on the products, product information can be obtained with a single click without long-term product registration. Although not as advanced as other systems, barcode readers are widely used because they are more cost effective.
A study conducted by Honeywell in North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific countries reveals that improvements in workflow can save at least 30 minutes per technician per day. This means savings of approximately 875 thousand US dollars a year.
According to the information given in MUSIAD’s 2017 Logistics Sector Report, it is expected that by 2020, 30 billion devices according to some sources and 24 billion devices according to some sources will be connected to each other. 10 billion of these will consist of phones we use, tablets and wearable systems. Billions of dollars worth of resources will be transferred to Internet of Things (IoT) solutions such as the development of this system, preparation of applications, device hardware, system integrations, creation of data storage systems, security and connectivity. The recycling of these resources is calculated as 13 trillion dollars until 2025.
Gartner company, which conducts important research on this subject and publishes a report on this subject, thinks that interconnected objects increased by 30% in 2016 compared to 2015 and reached 6.4 billion. Expressing that 5.5 million objects are connected to each other every day in 2016, it estimates that it will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.