The Dutch news site Logistiek.nl wrote about Augmex and our way of introducing and implementing Pick-by-Vision with the newest Glass Enterprise Edition 2. They highlighted one of our unique core values; Keeping the threshold low and giving people the opportunity to experience Pick-by-Vision themselves.
We believe that this way, we can achieve our goal: making smartglasses and augmented reality the standard and accessible for businesses. Read the translated article below, for the original article click the link below.
The translated article:
A few years ago, order picking with Google Glass seemed promising, but teething problems meant that this wearable did not really become a success. Times are changing, says Lars Heemskerk (18), because a newly improved and much lighter version now makes this smart glass suitable for order picking processes.
Do you still remember? In 2013 Google launched its first smartglass for consumers. Expectations were high and in its slipstream, logistics, wholesale and retail also saw opportunities for the smart glass technology as a smart alternative to barcode and voice pick technologies. In the years following the promising launch, it quickly became apparent that consumers were not very enamored with the glasses.
Smartglasses were too heavy
Companies that carried out order picking pilots with the Google Glass XE also stopped and returned to the old familiar order picking technologies. The reason for this was that companies ran into numerous technical and practical problems. For example, the glasses were too heavy, the battery ran down quickly and with intensive use the battery became very hot. Also, the screen on which the information appeared was not always very sharp, which was not really conducive for an order picker to work with.
Not ready for the market
"Despite the fact that everyone was enthusiastic in 2013 about the opportunities of the glasses in an order picking environment, the market was not yet ready for a large-scale rollout at that time, which is also the reason that we also quickly discontinued a research project for further development in a B2B environment," Lars Heemskerk (photo left) now states retroactively.
Business market opportunities
Google didn't leave it there and in May 2019 the consumer glasses were phased out for good and the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 for professional use was announced. "A good move, that was, because in the business market Google sees the most opportunities after all, including the logistics market, especially since there has been much testing in the past with the predecessor of the current glasses," says Heemskerk.
Authorized Glass Partner
The young entrepreneur smelled his chance and through the necessary detours he managed to acquire the partnership for marketing the new Google Glass in the Benelux in July last year. "I then also founded my own company Augmex in September. We are now one of Google's 25 globally trusted Glass Partners. That's pretty special because we are the only recognized Google Glass supplier in the Benelux with such a solution."
Order picker part of development process
In practice, the glasses have already been tested for some time by order pickers at plants and flower wholesaler Heemskerk Flowers in Rijnsburg and the experiences are positive. "It is a very user-friendly solution. During each update in the development process, we consulted with an order picker to see what could be improved in terms of technology and needs. We take the order picker with us, as it were, in the development process and that is important for the further development of this technology."
Combination with ring scanner An important advantage, according to the young entrepreneur, is that the order pickers who use the glasses in combination with a lightweight ring scanner become familiar with the technology very quickly and do not encounter any surprises. "What our ultimate goal was - and we succeeded in this - is that an employee puts on a pair of glasses and can start picking orders right away," he says. Only explanations needed are the numbers and ciphers that appear in the display."
Working without handheld-scanners
The biggest advantage is that the training time for an order picker has also been significantly reduced. "Previously, that took an average of a day and a day and a half should there be a language barrier. Now with these glasses we have reduced that from one hour to two hours. The flower wholesaler currently has 30 pairs of glasses in use and what they want to get to this year at Heemskerk Flowers, that there will be PDA-free work. It's worth so much when employees have their hands free while picking."
The number of so-called mispicks has also been significantly reduced at Heemskerk Flowers thanks to the smart glass. "There are now zero incorrectly picked products going to the packing department at Heemskerk"
Lighter and more ergonomic
Ergonomics, the image quality, improved battery technology, the weight of the device (only 46 grams, ed.) and the robustness ensure, according to Heemskerk, that this new Google Glass will be a success compared to the previous model. "I have heard comments from order pickers that they often no longer notice that they are wearing glasses after an hour, especially since the screen is mounted slightly above the field of vision. With a simple glance upwards, an order picker gets all the information he needs, which makes these glasses in combination with our solution very special."
What also plays a role, according to the young entrepreneur, is the way the glasses are used. "It is easily accessible and we give entrepreneurs the opportunity to experience our Pick-by-Vision technology for themselves. That opens many new doors for this smartglass, which is now suitable for large-scale implementation."
Lars is confident that the solution he developed within his startup Augmex will also make its appearance outside of floriculture. "We actually don't focus on ornamental horticulture specifically at all. Our first project happened to start in that corner, but we are now also making steps outside of it. We are in an interim phase and partly due to the lockdown we have to wait until we can start with the first pilots, but there are now contacts with a number of logistics service providers who are seriously interested in this new technology. For the coming period, we are going to take on many projects in the Netherlands, but also at Heemskerk Flowers itself we are going to deploy glasses in multiple processes such as packing and stacking boxes on Danish trolleys."