Since we don’t manufacture hardware at Lucas, our main interest in recommending voice-picking hardware is to ensure customers select devices that provide top-quality recognition, and that support all of the other features and functions needed for customers to achieve their operational goals.

Here are three basic rules we apply for picking the best device for your needs:

Put Function Before Form-Factor

Voice applications today are richer and more varied than ever before, and they aren’t limited to using voice-direction and speech recognition. State-of-the-art “multi-modal” voice picking systems include barcode scanning and screens to create efficient new processes that optimize user productivity and accuracy at every step. Therefore it’s crucial to define the functional requirements of your voice application before you start to think about hardware. Choose a device first and you may end up with hardware that doesn’t support the optimal use of voice, scanning and screens in your software application, preventing you from realizing your accuracy and productivity goals.

Consider The Environment

In addition to how you are going to use the devices, you need to consider where they will be used. Environmental concerns include operating temperatures, background noise, and possible exposure to moisture and dirt. Unlike mobile computers used for RF applications, devices used for voice are typically worn in a holster and are less subject to drops, bumps and other forms of rough treatment, so you may not need the most rugged device available.

Don’t Overlook IT

Operations people might not always put technical considerations at the top of their list, but failure to consider IT factors could result in selecting devices that don’t measure up to corporate IT requirements. Some of the key technical considerations include wireless network standards support, and compatibility with other internal standards for device management and security – including password and log-in standards and procedures.

The bottom line is that doing a thorough functional, environmental, and IT requirements analysis up-front can help ensure you choose the right hardware for your application, and possibly even save your company some money. To read more about how multi-modal functionality affects device selection, download our new Buyer’s Guide: “Buyer’s Guide for Mobile Computers for Warehouse Operations”. That document also includes a one-page Voice Device Selection Guide that summarizes the range of voice-capable mobile devices that can be used in a warehouse, including smartphones, voice-only appliances and industrial wearable and handheld computers,.

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