DHL Explores Augmented Reality Applications for Logistics

dhl arLogistics provider DHL has issued a new study into how augmented reality can be applied in different stages of the supply chain, with plans to test some of the derived use cases in proof of concept studies aimed at transforming the shipping and delivery businesses.

According to the study, AR technology could be applied to warehouse operations, transporation and last-mile delivery to enhance the service offered to businesses and consumers, as well as creating unique, value-added services for customers.

Among the 11 possible applications the report raised were equipping warehouse staff with head mounted displays to improve efficiency and reduce picking errors, and augmented windshields that displayed real-time traffic data, cargo temperature and other alerts.

“Recent developments such as heads-up displays on windshields or use of Augmented Reality for vehicle repairs from the automotive sector shows how rapidly this technology is developing and finding its way into industries outside of the IT sector,” said Charles Brewer, managing director of DHL Express in sub-Saharan Africa. “We believe that the technology also offers significant potential for the logistics industry, and are currently selecting cases for further research.”

The report highlighted that AR is still in its infancy, but thanks to funding poured into projects by large corporations such as Google, Canon and Qualcomm, consumer-ready AR products are likely to be launched within the next 12 months, and by 2017 the AR market could be worth $5.2bn (£3bn).