The choice for voice

Demand for more choice drives evolution in the voice market

Since the first implementations at the start of this decade, voice recognition solutions have changed the way operators work in distribution centres across Europe. As voice technology has matured, the demands being made on voice solutions are changing. Based on his experience with over 500 voice projects, Marcel Kars, VP Innovation Centres at Zetes, defines the latest trends in the sector. According to Kars, one of the most significant trends is the customers’ growing demand for choice. The level of choice a customer wants, however, depends to a large extend on their environment.

Asking for choice - terminals

A first shift is noted at big customers with a large number of pickers (100+), who use voice as the only interface when preparing orders. Typically these users operate voice-dedicated devices (meaning they support only voice-driven operations), as this brings them the most benefits in terms of productivity. Whereas specialised devices are still mostly used in this environment, customers are asking for more choice in terms of the terminals used. Via one single interface, they now wish to be able to connect devices of various manufacturers to their host system.

Asking for choice - peripherals

In specific areas, such as the pharmaceutical or automotive spare parts industry, we see an increasing demand to combine these voice-dedicated devices with other peripherals, such as scanners or RFID readers. All with the aim of ensuring accuracy in environments where faulty shipments may lead to extremely costly fines or returns.