Augmented Logistics.

After the Augmented Driving, another industry in which augmented reality will hold a key role is logistics. From warehousing operations to enhanced value-added services, AR can be a game changer and here are the reasons why.

To begin with, AR has the potential to significantly reduce cost by improving the picking process. Indeed, while warehousing operations account for 20% of all logistics costs, picking tasks represent around 60% of the totAR in wharehouse exampleal cost of warehousing operations. The use of augmented reality could strongly improve the picking process as each worker can see the digital picking list in their field of vision and thus, reduce their travel time thanks an efficient path planning. Plus, the travel time can also be optimized thanks the use of automated barcode scanning capabilities that shows the location of a product or a worker in real-time. To illustrate this first part, watch this video on vision picking at DHL.

Another bullet point of logistic is the transportation of a product from point A to point B, working for any industry. Here, AR has the potential to further optimize freight transportation in areas such as completeness checks, international trade, driver navigation, and freight loading.

To save time and detect damages, checks have to be done before and after a delivery. To optimize check-up processes, augmented reality devices can register when a delivery is complete and ready for pick-up and then capture pallet and parcel numbers and volume. At the end, the automated confirmation of pick-up after the correct number of undamaged parcels is recognised.
Augmented reality is also a good option to improve international trades as AR devices can check trade document and identify commodity code classification, but also provide a real-time translation of labels or foreign trade terms.
In terms of traffic support, AR can for instance be used to optimize navigation systems in delivery vehicles by being implemented in windshields (see my article on Augmented Driving), this amelioration permits drivers to have in their sights more information, such as obstacles or the next delivery point, and thus, having a faster and safer travel. In addition, AR can speed up the freight loading process by providing to freight loaders storage plans directly in their AR devices.

At the end of the value chain stands the last-mile delivery that is the section in which goods are handed over to the recipient. Here, augmented reality could be used to improve parcel handling. Indeed, through an AR device, equip staff of a company could see a bunch of information concerning the parcel such as the type of good being transported, parcel’s weight, delivery address, even the precaution to take if the good is fragile or requires specific positioning!

Finally, AR devices can allow providers to perform new services for their customers. Indeed, AR glasses (for instance) could allow assembly and repair teams to perform specific tasks, seeing step-by-step instructions through the device. Plus, it would also reduce the employee training cost.

To finish, have a look to this graphic, showing the impact that Augmented reality might have in a few years in different industries (source: Xcubelab) :

Potential of AR

This article is based on the DHL study “Augmented Reality in logistics, changing the way we see logistics – A DHL perspective” (2014). See the study in PDF here.

Stay tuned.


HoloLens, the augmented reality headset by Microsoft.

Microsoft held its second conference on Windows 10 and its consumer news yesterday (21st of January), announcing that this update is free for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, and Windows Phone 8.1. Plus, the Redmond company has created a nice surprise unveiling the HoloLens, a pair of glasses for viewing holograms.

HoloLens is a complete computer, 68d91e7d-0ec2-45fb-899d-612b546550ea_d815288c8d718c00ab40bc89df032faewith a processor, a powerful graphics circuit and an adapted version of Windows. It has motion sensors, like those of the Oculus Rift, which allows the user to move around the virtual object that adapts its position according to the user miovements. It also benefits from the expertise of Microsoft for capturing movement, developed with Kinect, and is supposed to allow you to easily interact with that content, just with your hands.

At the time Google announced the stop of its glasses connected sales, Microsoft comes with an object that could be the definition of augmented reality for professionals and the general public.

Watch the HoloLens presentation video, It’s worth seeing !

Stay tuned.

Zuckerberg’s 3 predictions for Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg held a public Q&A session in Columbia two days ago (14th of January), and some answers are really juicy.
Indeed, besides focusing on a new initiative consisting in giving free basic Internet access to everyone in the country, Zuck emphasized three points, answering to the question “How Facebook would look like in 10 years?” :

  1. There will be way more people connected on the internet
  2. There will be more and more communication and sharing tools
  3. A lot of new platforms

With this third point, Zuckerberg highlighted the fact that today’s platforms are computers and smartphones for the majority of people, but technology is moving fast, and we will definitly have other platforms coming up in the next years. Here is Mark Zuckerberg full quote :

“I think it’s pretty easy to imagine that in the future we will have something that we can either wear — and it’ll look like normal glasses (so it won’t look weird like some of the stuff that exists today). And you’ll just be able to have context with what’s going on around you in the world and communicate with people and not have to disrupt your conversations by looking down.”

Clearly, augmented reality and virtual reality are the bullet points to remember from Zuckerberg thought, and it shows us that Facebook did not purchase the company Oculus VR (creator of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift) by coincidence.

You can see the full talk here, move to 44:00 for the part I talked about.

Stay tuned.

Augmented driving.

The last year has shown us how new technologies are moving forward in the global industry. What was considered as being the future is coming true, and forerunners are enjoying a deserved satisfaction. There is a lot to say about every technology that actually works and are ready for everyday use. Here, I will focus on a very interesting one : augmented reality in the automotive industry.

World premiere of the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion at the CES, Las Vegas 2015 Weltpremiere des Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion auf der CES, Las Vegas 2015

World premiere of the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion at the CES 2015, Las Vegas.

To begin with, you probably already heard about the different prototypes automotive constructors are working on (also known as “Concept cars”). We recently had the occasion to see the Infinity Q80 Inspiration during the “Mondial de l’Automobile 2014” (Motor Show) taking place in Paris. This car has a bunch of innovations favoring low energy consumption, while being powerful and very luxurious. Even more recently, Mercedes-Benz presented its concept car, the F 015 Luxury in motion during the CES 2015. The F 015 Luxury in motion owns the revolutionary innovation that is the autonomous driving (already presented throught the “2025 Mercedes-Benz Truck“).

So what exactly is “Augmented Driving“? Well, it understands several functions and features that change the way to drive, making it easier, less binding and safer. The innovation that is most likely to be materialized and sold is the connected windshield. As the name suggests, a connected windshield will allows the driver to see the most important information on its direct view during his ride. Indeed, the puConnected windshield Jaguar Land Roverrpose of this innovation is to divert the least the driver sight, as the speed, light indicators and GPS will appear directly on the windshield. But I feel a couple of questions come to your mind : isn’t it more dangerous to have information on the windshield? Doesn’t it will distract the driver? Well, I feel like it is more secure to have alerts in my sight than on the dashboard. It reduces the diversion of my look and I can keep my eye on the road. Plus, the connected windshield will prevent danger, and inform me about potential risks (e.g. Car moving back, unwise pedestrian), so I definitly believe it will diminishes number of accidents.

To illustrate this innovation, let’s talk a bit about the Jaguar Land Rover 360 Virtual Urban Widescreen. As you saw if you followed the link, it uses a transparent display mounted on the entire windshield surface and additional displays on every pillar of the roof. A nice feature, in addition of risk notifications, is the “Follow Me” ghost car navigation, which may look like a video game and makes the use of GPS quite entertaining. I may also mention the presence of cameras located outside the auto body and are used to provide “missing” images with nested screens in the interior of the vehicle side pillars.

In another vein, we can evoke the connected motorbike helmet, such as the LiveMap Helmet that include an Augmented Reality navigation system, or the Skully AR-1 that also include an AR navigation system and a voice recognizer.

Stay tuned.