Lead Forensics

How augmented reality headsets can improve warehouse efficiency

The launch of the Apple Vision Pro focussed attention on augmented reality (AR) to increase personal productivity, but AR is also increasingly being used in warehouse environments too.

As far back as 2017, a report by logistics company DHL claimed that AR could increase warehouse efficiency by 15%. Studies by Coca-Cola four years ago found that workers using AR could achieve 99.9% picking accuracy.

Augmented reality (AR) is the combining of digital information with a user’s surrounding environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality (VR), AR allows individuals to experience their real-world surroundings while overlaying generated perceptual information onto it.

The main benefit of AR in the warehouse is to provide information on item locations without getting in the way the wearer’s ability to safely walk around the aisles.

The question has been asked about using a device like the Apple Vision Pro in the warehouse. The issue with the Vision Pro is that it is heavy, expensive and only has a battery life of around two hours. AR systems used in warehouses may have limited functionality at the moment, but are lightweight enough to be worn all day and capable of enabling wearers to easily locate order items.

The next generation of warehouse AR equipment is expected to integrate prescription eyewear and look very much like ordinary glasses, rather than having a robotic appearance.

Innovative manual handling equipment, such as heavy duty warehouse trolleys with steps, will hold a very important place in the warehouse, even with the development of augmented reality technology. AR will merely function as a tool for workers using this equipment to be more productive.

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