Smart glasses and wearables are becoming increasingly popular for organisations in the logistics sector as they grapple with challenges such as staff shortages and increased market demands. But it can be difficult to know which smart glasses are best suited to each use case. Here, Jan Junker, EVP Solution Sales & Delivery, at TeamViewer, provides a four step guide to help make this decision easier.
Today, smart glasses are widely used in many sectors, but particularly within manufacturing and logistics. As the world of work ramps up again following the pandemic, organisations are increasingly looking to wearable devices to enhance productivity and efficiency.
Smart glasses and supporting Augmented Reality (AR) are a solution for numerous inventive uses such as training in the warehouse by simulating the assembly process, the production stage, machine maintenance and even in customer service.
As smart glasses can work as an extension of existing tools, they can provide workers with the instructions and information needed to complete tasks at hand. This reduces the operational time required to manually cross-check every instruction and boosts efficiency. Furthermore, as employees can wear this technology, it is a hands-free experience which enables them to carry out more tasks and uplift their ergonomics at the same time.
As companies are increasingly discovering the advantages of using this new technology, there is an increase in its adoption. However, one step which can be challenging is how to choose a suitable model. Jan Junker, EVP Solution Sales & Delivery, at TeamViewer, gives some insights into four aspects that can help your organisation select the right glasses:
1. The work situation in which the smart glasses are used
One of the most important factors in selecting the right smart glasses is the working conditions of the worker in need of support. Companies should consider the following:
- Light conditions can influence the filming and scanning possibilities of the camera and the quality of AR elements
- Noise pollution can be critical for voice control and speech-to-text features
- Dust, dirt and moisture are critical factors which require different safety classifications (e.g., IP 66/IP67)
- Ambient temperature (e.g., in cold storage or steel production) demand a corresponding temperature range of the smart glasses
- Explosion risks (e.g., in paint shops or gas production) require ATX-certified smart glasses
- Smart glasses should not limit the movement patterns of workers (e.g., picking from low shelves)
2. Features of smart glasses
Smart glasses differ in capabilities and appropriate glasses need to be selected per the requirement. Companies need to recognise which requirements they are looking for and what can enhance their workers’ efficiency. Ultimately, the glasses need to be comfortable and easy to wear. If your employees aren’t happy to adorn the glasses or slow them down, the investment won’t be of much use. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the hurdles are minimal and workers are comfortable. The following questions can help to figure out which features are needed:
- How robust should the glasses be?
- How heavy are the smart glasses? Can they be worn over an entire shift by workers?
- Is the user’s view restricted and is it still suitable for certain dangerous situations?
- How good is the camera resolution?
- How good is the quality of the microphone for voice recognition?
- How good is the performance of the Wi-Fi module?
- How good is the battery capacity and what are the options for charging (built-in rechargeable battery or replaceable battery)?
- Which operating system is used?
3. Support services
Next to technical features, support features are a key factor in deciding which smart glasses are suitable for deployment. This concerns how easy it is to administer the hardware or the available technical support (e.g., 24-hour worldwide hardware swap service). Companies must choose suitable models keeping support services in mind as that will influence its impact in terms of work.
4. Choosing comprehensive system solutions – not standalones
Most of the time, smart glasses come with only the primary or essential software solutions from manufacturers. Since the software performance is critical, it ultimately influences the choice of glasses. After all, every pair of smart glasses is only as good as the local software that supports the use case optimally. Therefore, it is always important to consider the holistic system, not just the individual smart glasses.
After analysing the factors mentioned above, companies must adequately plan how to introduce the glasses into their organisation. Training must be provided in sessions or workshops so that employees can benefit greatly. If companies aim for a smooth adoption of the glasses, they need to support their employees by providing continuous support and service. Therefore, it is critical to have a partner who can effectively train the workforce regarding the smart glasses. Fortunately, the learning curve is quick and short, and most employees should be able to adopt quickly.
When we factor in the rise in remote work, it is evident that the trend of wearing smart glasses is on the rise and will witness increased end-user spending. With the right planning, training and educating, organisations can hop on to it and enhance their workforce’s abilities, eventually contributing to a more efficient workplace.Click below to share this article