CARMEL – With an initial price tag of $1,500, the futuristic-looking Google Glass remains about as realistic as a hover car for the typical American. But…
When prices drop, a Carmel technology firm is banking on Glass — a hands-free “augmented reality” device that is worn like a pair of glasses — becoming as ubiquitous for consumers and businesses as smartphones are today.
DPS Inc. has been developing business software for the device, with plans to take a prototype to trade shows this fall.
The tech company specializes in logistics — think inventory tracking for warehouses — so the finished product likely won’t appeal to the average Glass adopter. But even as it is tailored toward a narrow customer base, the software offers a look at what will be possible in the next generation of mobile technology.
Picture a map of a warehouse with each package identified, sorted and tracked. Paper is kept in Aisle D, Row 7, and there are six boxes remaining after two shipments left earlier that day. Combine that with pinpoint GPS tracking and a computerized search function, and Google Glass will be able to direct a worker where to go for what he or she needs.
“You can ask it, ‘Hey, where’s the closest cherry picker?'” said Joshua Knapp, a sales executive at DPS. “It’ll say Row B2. If you know where that is, great. If not, it’ll give you directions.”
Early on the software will target wholesale distributors — and large ones at that. A mom-and-pop warehouse may not have much need for it. But a few extra minutes here and there could greatly improve the efficiency of an operation that covers 1 million square feet, as many of the largest warehouses do today.
“Small mistakes can really add up,” said Ryan Ingram, director of the DPS gadget team. He says DPS has received positive feedback in discussions with clients.
Ingram thinks DPS could convert the software for use in other types of businesses.
“Just think — 10 years ago we were all using flip phones,” Knapp said. “It’s hard to imagine where we’ll be in 10 years, or even five years from now.”
Call Star reporter Brian Eason at (317) 444-6129. Follow him on Twitter: @brianeason.
(Photo: D. Kevin Elliott For the Star )