One of the key shifts in supply chains is the use of augmented reality. This emerging technology has contributed to more agile, accurate, and speedy deliveries. Here’s a look at the AR revolution in transportation and logistics and how it’s reshaping these sectors.
What AR Does for Supply Chains
Distribution centers are where logistics professionals are increasingly exploring the possibilities of AR. Big manufacturers are using smaller distribution centers strategically placed throughout a market to make pickups and deliveries more efficient and convenient for online shoppers.
Augmented reality and virtual reality provide 3D and multi-layered views through digital experiences. While VR requires a headset, AR can be used through mobile devices by showing data overlays superimposed on graphics; GPS is a popular form of AR. In addition, both AR and VR can interact with RFID-based IoT sensors.
When many people read the term “augmented reality”, they picture video games. But AR has moved beyond this realm and is entering various industries as a streamlining strategy, especially for large-scale warehouses. Here are some of the ways AR is improving shipping and customer satisfaction:
- Picking packages in the sorting phase of shipping
- Managing inventory for locating products in real time
- AR simulates hands-on experience for staff training
- Opens possibilities for new logistics procedures
- Helps navigate errands to unfamiliar areas
One of the most sustainable actions that AR facilitates is reducing waste. AR accelerates logistics procedures and cuts costs dramatically throughout business infrastructures and digital ecosystems. It achieves this feat by identifying and resolving problems quickly that would otherwise lead to longer troubleshooting time frames and bigger bills.
AR Empowers Drivers
Delivery drivers can gain access to valuable data through AR technology that helps make their jobs easier. They can access real-time data on package weight, types of products, and all the necessary destination information. It can provide alerts and instructions for how to make the journey safer. AR gadgets can also let drivers know how much space is still available for loading.
Routes are being planned more efficiently with AR gadgets to account for weather, regulations, and traffic slowdowns. Consequently, transportation companies that do not embrace AR technology in the future will fall behind AR-enabled competitors.
Futuristic AR Innovations
AR is advancing in multiple directions as far as devices that facilitate augmented reality experiences. One example is smart glasses that allow a physician to visualize data points to provide a more holistic view for diagnosis. Delivery service DHL and automaker BMW have been experimenting with pilot projects using smart glasses for picking in logistics. The results have been improved productivity, reduced errors, less training time, and greater picking efficiency.
Technology is already available for truck drivers to repair their vehicles following breakdowns with the help of AR gadgets. The device can provide the driver with guidelines for repairing minor problems. As AR technology develops, it will provide even more powerful roadside assistance in the future.
Warehouses will also be improved by AR innovations for services such as sorting products, marking, repacking, and maintenance work. AR software can provide visual layouts on screens for warehouses to identify ways to reduce clutter and utilize space more efficiently.
Mobile wearable gadgets help speed up warehouse worker tasks already and will only become more empowering. These gadgets are used for fulfillment checks and scanning for real-time inventory data. Scanners are also used to measure package dimensions. Ultimately, AR is further useful for streamlining last-mile deliveries because it tracks fuel and labor costs for analysts to review.
Read more: E-Learning Benefits and the Role of IoT
Logistics and transportation services are rapidly improving, thanks to AR technology. Not only does this technology help cut supply chain costs for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, but it also enables faster deliveries, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and retention.