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Shipper Hopes Google Glass Will Improve Warehouse Operations

Exel plans to test connected eyewear in two U.S. warehouses later this year.

Google Glass originally debuted as a futuristic accessory targeting tech savvy consumers, but the Internet-connected eyewear could find new life in the world of shipping.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Exel — the supply chain division of German parcel delivery giant DHL — plans to test connected eyewear in two U.S. warehouses later this year.

The effort follows a trial earlier this year in a Dutch warehouse, which helped reduce packing times by 25 percent.

Read more: Three ways to gain full visibility and control of supply chain operations.

The wearable devices tell workers where to find products in warehouses and are capable of reading bar codes. Exel officials said the devices could particularly help e-retailers, who must frequently package a handful of products out of potentially millions of options.

Connected eyewear could also help train and acclimate temporary workers hired during peak shipping seasons.

“A lot of the large operations need help supporting e-fulfillment, especially with lots of [products] that might only be available online," Exel's Adrian Kumar told the Journal.

Google's eyewear launched in 2013 with its Glass Explorer program, which allowed a limited number of people to buy the eyewear for $1,500.

The program fizzled amid consumer scorn and concerns about privacy, and Google signaled plans to revamp the Glass program earlier this year.

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