4 Mobile Technology Trends For 2019.
Wearable Devices –
When you hear “wearable devices,” you might think of an Apple Watch or a Bluetooth ear piece. But in the supply chain, wearable devices are far more advanced and sophisticated than these consumer products.
These solutions shorten picking time and boost accuracy by automatically guiding pickers through each item on a pick list, showing them the most efficient route to products in the warehouse, and giving pickers hands-free access to barcode scanning and software to scan and validate each pick.
The concept of “blockchain” originated with cryptocurrency, but its real application and highest impact will likely be in the supply chain.
Blockchain is an open-source technology that processes supply chain transactions directly from peer to peer, with automatic ledger updates, simultaneous execution of both sides of a transaction, and fewer intermediaries and resources required.
It’s a digital, distributed transaction ledger that is stored and maintained on multiple systems belonging to organizations that share identical information, such as a manufacturer and its suppliers.
Blockchain records transactions in a secure, distributed way that is transparent, auditable, and resistant to outages and points of failure. Combined with RFID tags and tracking, it creates an unchangeable record of transactions that can be shared with everyone involved along the way, with use cases ranging from supply chain tracking and traceability to logistics sensors and parcel deliveries.
Artificial Intelligence –
AI or artificial intelligence is a broad term that’s not about machines outsmarting people or taking over the world. In a supply chain context, AI is a benign and exciting prospect.
Now that supply chains across many industries are able to collect and track data on everything from inventory transactions to manufacturing machine output and material traceability, there’s an opportunity to turn that big data into actionable intelligence.
AI plays a crucial role in this process by automating the processing, analysis, and interpretation of that data. It uses big data to recommend positive and proactive changes in everything from inventory planning and replenishment to improvements in workflow efficiency and production processes.
With AI, data is collected by mobile data capture systems, sensors, RFID, and video technologies, then software handles the rest, often delivering actionable insights and recommendations in the form of convenient dashboards, reports, and alerts.
Android Migration –
Another big trend in supply chain mobile technologies is the migration from Windows-based devices to simpler and easier-to-use Android touch-enabled devices.
Device manufacturers and enterprise users are making the switch to Android in massive numbers as the Windows Embedded Handheld operating system reaches its end of life. In fact, Android now has well over 80% market share on new enterprise mobile devices, thanks in part to an entire suite of Android devices developed by Zebra Technologies.
For example, Zebra has introduced the new MC9300 Android touch handheld mobile computer, which helps companies make a smooth transition to Android while upgrading their mobile workflows.
The MC9300 combines simple, easy-to-use Android touch computing with an ultra-rugged handheld mobile computer that also includes keypad data entry and 1D and 2D barcode scanning. It delivers far better processing power, up to eight times the RAM, sixteen times the Flash memory, and nearly twice the battery life of preceding devices.