DHL’s Whitepaper on Augmented Reality in Logistics

DLH released a Augmented Reality in Logistics whitepaper in 2014 that discussed what Augmented Reality is, to Best Practices, to how it applies in Logistics.

What is Augmented Reality?

Some interesting cliff notes about the white paper is that they break down Augmented Reality into four different tasks:

  1. Scene Capture
  2. Scene Identification
  3. Scene Processing
  4. Scene Visualization

When using Unity and Vuforia, we easily overcome three-fourths of the Augmented Reality hurdle.  We can focus on Scene Visualization, which allows us to focus on the WHAT, rather than the HOW.

The Devices

What sort of devices can we expect to find when discussing AR?  According to White Paper, the major players will be:

  1. Handheld Devices
  2. Stationary AR Systems ( like the Kiosks found at the LEGO Store )
  3. Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) Systems
  4. Head-mounted Displays
  5. Smart Glasses
  6. Smart Lenses

We at Mantaray AR think that handheld devices such as smart phones and other wearable tech such as smart glasses will be the Big Two.  To get to consumers, you will need to develop for smart phones and things like Google Glass.

Be There When You Need To Be

Context-sensitive information is the name of the Augmented Reality game.  Data should be readily available to the user. But not just any old data; only the data that the user needs should be there.  Contextually-sensitive information can mean a lot of things depending on the application, but some good examples are:

  1. Popups over key historical buildings that the device is pointed at.
  2. Text that the camera is pointing at is translated into the user’s native tongue.
  3. Facebook data pops up when pointing the app at a person.


Virtual Reality Meets Augmented Reality

One interesting example that has brought mainstream attention to Augmented Reality is Ikea’s catalog app that blends VR and AR together. It allows users to see what their house would look like with different furniture in it.  Point the device at a corner of your house and select different furniture available at Ikea, and you are able to see what it would look like in your home!

Another interesting example is the ColorSmart app which let’s you pick paint colors and see what they would look like on the walls in your home!

In Logistics

When applying AR to Logitics, it is important to optimize processes.  We shouldn’t try to shove AR in places just because we can.  We need to make sure that it improves an error prone scenario and to leverage the opportunities that AR can give us.

Be there when you need to be!  Augmented Reality can help the logistics business by providing help in the picking process and pulling pallets off of shelves.

VR Meets AR!  Augmented Reality can help in warehouse planning and design to field test environments with little to no cost!

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