Turbo Charge Your Inventory Moves With Wearable Computers: 13 Key Considerations For Evaluating WearablesSource: BlueStar, Inc.
Bar code scanning has made data collection fast and accurate but sometimes operators aren't provided the right tools for the job -- and that can reduce productivity gains that might otherwise be realized. Many warehouse tasks require an operator to physically handle products. A hand-held computer isn't always the best choice in these situations. Wearable computers, on the other hand, can improve productivity in any operation that requires that the operator's hands and eyes be dedicated to the task at hand. But providing the worker with the right form factor is only one issue. The other important factors are ruggedness and ease of use. Without these two additional factors, reliability and usability suffer -- and so does productivity.
There are a variety of tasks within the warehouse that require the operator's full attention -- shipping or receiving parcels, performing put-away, picking carton to pallet, and picking to pack. A WiFi-enabled wearable computer leaves operators’ hands free to do the job while still enabling him or her to scan bar codes, enter data or receive instructions in real time.
For bar code reading, wearables can be equipped with light-weight, slim ring scanners. Ring scanners make scanning a simple point-and-press operation. Where symbol orientation or placement makes aligning the reader to the symbol difficult or undesirable, a 2D imager puts everything in the right perspective. Imagers make reading both linear and 2D symbols a snap and are required for reading matrix symbols that are becoming more prevalent in some item-marking applications.