Warehousing pressures driving substantial investment in augmented reality, voice solutions, and people tracking
Demand for warehousing facilities has been steadily increasing thanks to the strength of international trade and the continual growth of e-commerce. With customer expectations for rapid delivery rising, warehouses are struggling to process the increased volumes of goods passing through facilities in time. The problem is compounded by labor shortages and staffing challenges. The need to adopt technology to alleviate these issues is driving significant investment in Augmented Reality (AR), voice-directed solutions, and Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) for workforce analytics.
By 2025, global spending on AR in warehousing will reach over $23 billion, $3.3 billion will be spent on voice solutions, and RTLS will grow to 500,000 implementations for people tracking across all verticals, according to ABI Research.
Augmented Reality is finally starting to gain mass appeal in industrial sectors, thanks to maturing technologies and demonstrable ROI from early adopters. Voice-directed solutions represent a considerably older technology but are also undergoing a technological revolution thanks to deep learning-based voice recognition that vastly improves ease-of-use and reliability. These solutions are both being leveraged to assist the warehouse workforce by providing operational instructions in a clear and hands-free way.
The drive for digitally-enabled workforce productivity in the warehouse is incorporating the human worker into the Internet of Things at a rapid pace. The increased use of RTLS technologies, such as Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi tracking, and RFID, are allowing warehouse operators to analyze the productivity of the workforce, as well as the movement of physical assets.
Companies such as RealWare, Kontakt.io, Panasonic, Lucas Systems, and TopSystem are providing warehouses with a wide range of technology solutions that can provide incremental advantages.