Voice Just Got Smarter

Jennifer VoicePlus Available on Smartphones

As first announced at MODEX 2014, Jennifer VoicePlus will soon be available on smartphones, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S4. Jennifer is the first industrial-grade voice solution for the warehouse that is available on a smartphone, which isn't surprising since we were also the first company to deliver voice applications on standard industrial  computers from Motorola (then Symbol Technologies) and other industrial hardware providers, back in the early 2000s.

Use the resources on this page to learn more about this new solution and see if smartphones might be a good fit for voice picking and other applications in your warehouse.

If you have more questions, please call or email us, or submit your question online here.

About Jennifer For Smartphones


Jennifer VoicePlus is designed to permit the seamless use of voice direction, speech recognition, visual user interfaces, and imaging technology, similar to typical smartphone applications. The Jennifer solution for smartphones includes industrial-grade accessories to create a powerful, rugged, secure and economical solution for the warehouse. Just as exciting - by supporting Jennifer on smartphone platforms, we are able to leverage the innovations driven by the consumer market, such as the introduction of new types of wearable devices (smartwatches, glasses, etc.), that will allow us to create even more productive and powerful voice applications for the warehouse.

We will continue to deliver Jennifer voice picking and other applications on the widest possible range of industrial hardware platforms, in addition to smartphones and other new mobile and wearable devices. For more information on the differences (and similarities) between voice on smartphones or industrial mobile computers, read our recent blog: Voice Picking Races: Smartphones v. Industrial Mobile Computers.


Smartphones in the Warehouse Survey Results


View the Jennifer VoicePlus for Samsung Galaxy S4 Fact Sheet:



FAQs

Why didn't you do this sooner? Smartphones have been around for years.

For years people have asked us why they couldn’t run our applications on smartphones. In the past there were some barriers around ruggedness, security, and other technical and ergonomic issues, but those barriers have been addressed as more and more enterprises have had to meet the needs of employees that have been using their personal devices for work.

Why would someone use a smartphone instead of an industrial device?

There are distinct pros and cons for any device. We recognize that industrial devices have a place in some warehouse environments and we will continue to offer Jennifer on best of breed industrial devices. That said, Smartphones are smaller, lighter, and cost less upfront than industrial computers, and they are also more powerful, have better UIs and screens, have more memory, etc. In addition to ergonomic and ease of use benefits, they’ve also gotten tougher (see below).

We also believe that by supporting Jennifer on smartphone platforms, we will be able to leverage the innovations driven by the consumer market, such as the introduction of new types of wearable devices (smartwatches, glasses, etc.), to create even more productive and powerful voice applications for the warehouse. 


How do smartphones compare in terms of ruggedness?

Ruggedness is a valid consideration for any device that is going to be used in a warehouse, but you have to consider the application. More importantly, the lines between rugged and non-rugged devices are disappearing, as industrial device makers introduce smartphone-like devices and smartphone makers are introducing rugged designs. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is an IP64 device and there are a number of industrial cases for the Galaxy that give tumble, shock and sealing ratings superior to those of some industrial devices used today in warehouse voice applications.

In any event, determining which device is appropriate in any situation really depends on how it will be used. For example, with voice, after a worker signs on to Jennifer, the device is usually worn in a holster on a belt. Therefore, for years we have been specifying and selling lighter, slightly less hardened devices for our applications since the risk of drops is less, holsters add a layer of protection and insulation (for colder environments), and a smaller, lighter form-factor is more ideal for end users. That hasn’t changed and that’s why we offer the broadest device selection possible – from vehicle mounts and ultra rugged wearables to handhelds.

Do smartphones offer the same level of security as industrial devices?

For the last five years corporations have been forced to address the security concerns related to consumer smartphones since many employees have been using their own devices for work. While earlier versions of Android raised concerns about security, the latest Android versions offer business-class security features and there are a number of proven, third-party security products that let you lock down devices, prevent them from being used outside of the warehouse, allow you to remotely wipe them, and otherwise protect not only the physical devices, but the data.

What is the future of smartphones and other consumer technology in the supply chain?

Analyst group VDC predicts that the global market for consumer grade smartphones issued by enterprise and government organizations will continue to grow (reaching 197 million units in 2017 from 130 million in 2012). There are several factors affecting this trend including the next generation of mobile workers who have very different expectations about technology and the drive for lower cost solutions that do more. What we see ahead for mobile workers in the supply chain is mobile work applications that are more powerful, more intuitive, and can run on a wider range of innovative mobile devices and wearable form-factors.


Video Case Study

Do it Best is using Jennifer at each of its eight Retail Services Centers throughout the US. Watch this six minute video case study to hear all about it.