Augmented warehouse reality
Decades ago, people likely envisioned 2012 to be quite futuristic. Although we don’t have flying cars or meals in pill form just yet, new technology is being tested that fits the mold.
In April, Google initiated Project Glass, which essentially transforms eyeglasses into a mobile computer, enabling users to view maps, take and share photos and videos, check the weather, read e-mails and more. The technology is still in the prototype phase, but when it launches it could be controlled by someone’s voice or physical gestures. And according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, Google isn’t the only company working on such “futuristic” technology.
The article notes that smaller companies have created optical technologies that enable people to watch TV shows on-the-go, get turn-by-turn directions while driving, and determine their speed while snow skiing. Perhaps the most interesting optical technology for the beverage industry, however, aids in warehouse management.
Knapp AG offers a visual picking technology called KiSoft Vision, which functions via a head-mounted display with a camera and software that connects to the existing warehouse management system. The screen features navigation to guide the user through a warehouse and can even determine the most optimal route. According to the company, the technology offers error-free picking and automatic tracking of lots and serial numbers.
With voice-pick and automated storage and retrieval systems picking up steam, it will be interesting to see if visual picking will be added to the technology queue in beverage warehouses.