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Warehouse Wearables: Helpful or Hype?

01.10.2018 | By Chris Pickett | 2 min. read

Working in a busy warehouse requires the right equipment. But are warehouse wearables helpful enough to be worth the cost? Or is it all just hype? Let’s take a closer look.

What is a Warehouse Wearable?

Put simply, wearables are tech tools you can wear on your body. Simple wearables, like fitness monitors, have become commonplace. But now, there are a variety of newer, more useful warehouse tools available for employees picking, packing, and shipping orders.

Most Popular Warehouse Wearables

  • Smart glasses:
    Although the retail versions of smart glasses have failed to attract the imagination of most consumers, the industrial setting shows more widespread acceptance. Smart glasses have the ability to provide additional information to workers through augmented reality, help keep track of inventory, and provide live, first-person video feeds to off-site experts.
  • Smart gloves:
    Carrying around a computer or tablet is impractical for many workers. Smart gloves allow workers to mount a small monitor to their hand, which allows them to access critical information on the go. But smart gloves are more than just cradles for tablets. Several companies are currently offering gloves that allow workers to scan barcodes and perform other jobs that required bulkier equipment in the past.
  • Smart watches:
    Most people are comfortable using smart watches, which makes them a readily accessible technology in the warehouse. With a smart watch on, workers have an easy way to communicate in a noisy environment, can get instant updates, are able to receive notifications, and have the ability to easily locate products.

Are wearables worth the cost?

They may be, because wearables help you achieve the following:

  • Reduce time spent on repetitive tasks:
    Most tasks fall into this category; but wearables can help you streamline processes and increase workers’ productivity. This saves money on payroll, which can offset the cost of tech tools.
  • Give workers more freedom:
    Wearables give your employees the ability to complete their work on the go, which saves them time and lets them focus on completing tasks.
  • Decrease errors:
    Since wearables provide ways to simplify and automate tasks while receiving more guidance, workers are better able to avoid making simple mistakes.

To decide whether or not wearables have a place in your warehouse, consider how you’d utilize them, if they’ll work well with your existing software, what kind of budget you have, and whether or not you can effectively train employees to take full advantage of the benefits these tools have to offer.

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