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Low-Cost Smartphone Tech Can Help Manage Logistics

Volume 2, Issue 12
June 30th, 2014
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A new report shows how technologies like Microsoft’s video-game camera Kinect, smart watches and Smartphone near-field technology can serve as effective logistics management tools.

DHL trend report, “Low-Cost Sensor Technology,” reviews depth-sensing technology designed to speed up volume and fill height measurements. It can be downloaded at www.dhl.com/lowcostsensor

This marks a complete reversal of past practices in which new technologies were initially applied in business and migrated to private uses only later, according to the Trend Research team at DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.

“The success of Smartphones and tablet PCs has created a situation in which employees have better technology for personal use than they do for business needs,” said Dr. Markus Kückelhaus, director of trend research.

“But they expect to have the same standard of technology at work. For this reason, we think companies have to step up and put Smartphone sensors in particular to work in logistics.”

Tablet PCs and Smartphones contain a large number of sensors that recognize our surroundings. For some time now, it has been possible to measure acceleration, position or light with these devices, the researchers noted. The technologies contained in them can also be put to use in logistics.

These possible applications include recording the arrival time of shipments in parcel centers as part of tracking and tracing services, pinpointing the shipment’s exact location and updating their status on an online platform.

Two concepts used to measure pallet volume already have been developed on the basis of sensor systems also found in Microsoft’s Kinect. During testing, measurements made by depth-sensing technology have proven to be 50% faster than those performed with past technology.

Other potential uses for these reasonably-priced devices include fill level measurements for containers and trucks, as well as the monitoring and documentation of freight damage.

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