Warehouse Workers Speak to Oracle

Wavelink, a provider of mobile applications and network management software, is partnering with Oracle to deliver a supply chain execution suite of products that include voice technologies.

Wavelink's Speakeasy increases productivity in warehouse environments by layering voice-driven interfaces over existing host applications in mobile devices. Using Nuance’s mobile engine, Speakeasy’s speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities optimize a hands-busy, eyes-busy workplace. Currently, Wavelink employees are writing scripts to coincide with the April release of Oracle Warehouse Management, an application that maximizes labor efficiency. 

"It’s a scripting language on the handheld itself," says Jay Cichosz, Wavelink’s director of marketing. "Any application running the terminal emulation interface, you or I could write a script to voice-enable any fields that make sense. We’re not changing anything on Oracle’s side."

The result is a scalable and comparatively cheap voice solution due to the low overhead needed to implement the solution. A common use for Speakeasy is integrating it with a picking application, wherein warehouse workers go to a location and are told the quantity of a given item to collect. 

One of the initial problems with Speakeasy was adjusting the voice recognition engine to function in a noisy warehouse. A version developed last September had recognition problems. Since then, however, Cichosz believes Wavelink has ironed out the difficulties.

"Last week, we went down to the local mall food court at lunch time," says Cichosz. "You know these places with tiled floors and echoes, and we ran (Speakeasy) and I couldn’t make it fail. I spoke fast, tried to use a Southern accent. It’s solid as a rock."   

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