Innovation in the supply chain: Augmented Reality

 

AugmentedReality-300x169In recent years, technological advances have led a radical change in the optimization and improvement of logistics processes, thus increasing efficiency in this area. Drones, tablets or augmented reality glasses are just some of these advances. The present article focuses on this latest technology –augmented reality. More specifically, on augmented reality applied to the supply chain.

Few predicted that augmented reality has something to offer to the management of the supply chain. However, its possibilities are manifold…

But let’s start at the beginning:

What is augmented reality?

Put it simply, augmented reality is nothing more than what we see viewed from a mobile device. A technology that combines real-time physical and digital information in the same space, thereby expanding the information of the elements in our environment.

Augmented reality seeks to turn our physical world into an interactive and digital world. And this is precisely the difference with virtual reality, in that it does not replace reality, but it combines it with computer data expanding our perception of reality by means of images, videos and digital information through our mobile devices: smartphones, tablets or glasses like Google Glass.

Videos:

Google Glass:

What is augmented reality and what it is used for:

Augmented Reality in the supply chain

As a starting point of the impact of augmented reality in the supply chain, there is the fact that this technology allows us to anticipate information at all times and everywhere, it enables to speed up processes, optimize costs and even allows for greater security.

If, as noted above, this technology expands the information of what’s in our environment, just a pair of glasses could, for instance, provide operators with all the updated information on the location of the goods, routes, records and updates of changes in location, readable information in bar codes or storage planning through the provision of space necessary to store the goods, quickly detecting gaps in the warehouse.

But that’s not all there is. Space can be optimized real time, but it is also possible to use augmented reality to a higher or strategic level. By making virtual changes, you can create new gaps or redistribute the goods to optimize the available space.

Transport also has its advantages, since the use of devices adjustable to different readers or body elements will allow speeding up processes with bar codes and other identifiers when the goods are transported.

In turn, it will also allow having real-time information on possible damage to the product or its packaging.

We can envision the inclusion of augmented reality even on an administrative level, from registration to traceability, contributing once again to saving not only costs, but also management time.

And these are only some of the advantages and possibilities of augmented reality…

This video shows the application of the Augmented Reality (AR) technology to the picking processes to optimize their actions in the warehouse environment and the efficient management of the supply chain. In addition, depending on the hardware, it can incorporate voice recognition for the picking validation or to launch system commands.

Alternative sources:

Augmented Reality solution in the logistics industry:

Vision Picking at DHL – Augmented Reality in Logistics:

 

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