Revolutionizing an Industry with Vocollect Headsets

Industrial Design Process: Transforming an Industry with Wearables

  • Capabilities Used
  • Industrial Design
  • Engineering

Warehouse operations may seem pedestrian—but innovations in the industry are creating a revolution in how quickly and efficiently we receive products.  Altitude helped Vocollect implement its vision for faster, more efficient delivery using wearable scanners and headsets.

The new A730 Talkman Mobile Computer and SRX2 Voice-Recognition Wireless Headset are an industry first — a truly optimized wearable system designed for the warehouse worker.

A Vision Made Real

Amazon has same-day delivery of groceries. When Apple launches a new iPhone, it can deliver 10 million units in a day. These days, it seems, you can get whatever you want nearly instantaneously. To make this possible, the biggest companies have robotized their giant warehouses, creating fully automated functionality. But a great number of distribution centers and warehouses around the world still deploy human workers, who count on voice recognition technology to help them operate in a hands-free, eyes-free manner while moving crates and boxes.

Enter Vocollect, the leader in voice-controlled warehouse distribution, which moves in excess of  $5 billion of product to customer locations in over 60 countries. Vocollect approached Altitude to help take it to the next level. The industrial design challenge: Design a wearable voice-control system, consisting of a Vocollect headset and waist-wearable computer, to meet the unique needs of warehouse workers and accelerate Vocollect’s growth. In the consumer space, wearables like Nike’s Fuel Band are about fashion, but in the warehouse, the key factors for successful design include durability, speed of use, shift longevity, ergonomics, and the ability to customize for the multiple functions in a fast-moving environment.

Vocollect needed a headset and wearable computer that allowed workers to communicate via voice with the main warehouse distribution database. The existing system wasn’t meeting current worker and warehouse needs and used a separate handheld scanner that added additional inconvenience. Altitude embedded the scanner into the waist computer and optimized the voice-enabled system to incorporate five key factors: customization features to serve Vocollect’s diverse customer base; an ergonomic and adaptable design for different applications; ruggedization for extreme environments and harsh use; removable communication device to enable better hygiene between shifts and to save the company money; and a new design language to communicate Vocollect’s brand promise across its entire family of products. The new A730 Talkman Mobile Computer and SRX2 Voice-Recognition Wireless Headset are an industry first — a truly optimized wearable system designed for the warehouse worker.

Designed for Extremes

Both the new Talkman and SXR2 excel in extreme warehouse environments. For maximum productivity, the battery can last a full eight-hour shift, even in refrigerated and freezer temperatures. Both products can also withstand high humidity and high temperatures, for warehouses located in hot, dry regions of the world. In the fast-moving, dynamic warehouse environment, the products were designed to withstand being dropped from as high as six feet.

The new system is already having a positive impact. One Vocollect client reported an 80 percent error reduction and 12 percent  productivity improvement. Together, Altitude and Vocollect have brought forth a vision for an ergonomic, hands-free, voice-centric warehouse to help companies optimize their supply chain performance.Altitude