Voice-Directed Picking Unit offers hands-free operation.

Press Release Summary:

EASYpick® Voice combines wearable computer with speech recognition algorithms and wireless communications technology, enabling users to work from verbal commands. Data collection, based on real-time information, aids in monitoring and responding to order fulfillment operations. Voice recognition, with up to 98% accuracy, picks up on voice patterns, dialects, inflections, and pronunciation. Full-screen PDA display provides onscreen text confirmation of verbal commands.

Original Press Release:

FKI Logistex Real Time Solutions Easypick® Voice Enhances Picking Accuracy, Boosts Productivity Rates

State-of-the-art voice-directed picking unit offers easy hands-free operation

(Emeryville, CA: January 30, 2003) FKI Logistex (LSE: FKI.L) Real Time Solutions, a market-leader in the design, manufacture, installation, and integration of innovative material handling solutions, has developed the newest addition to its award-winning line of order picking and fulfillment solutions, EASYpick® Voice. EASYpick Voice combines a sleek, wearable computer with cutting-edge speech recognition algorithms and advanced wireless communications technology to provide users with smooth hands-free operation.

Enabling users to work from verbal commands rather than printed materials, EASYpick Voice eliminates the time-sinks associated with other picking methodologies. Without having to stop to read pick-lists or displays, picking rates increase dramatically. Added benefits include improved accuracy rates, shorter learning curves, and improved worker safety. As with all EASYpick® products, data collection based on real-time information helps managers accurately monitor order fulfillment operations and respond accordingly.

"Adding voice-directed technology to picking operations provides substantial benefits to both individual workers and the enterprise as a whole," said Stephen Legg, president of FKI Logistex Real Time Solutions. "EASYpick Voice offers a measurable, tangible ROI by increasing accuracy rates, improving productivity levels, and reducing worker downtimes."

Tomorrow's voice recognition technology, today

Employing the latest "speaker-dependent" speech recognition and voice imprint technology, EASYpick Voice ensures recognition accuracy rates of up to 98%. By applying advanced voice pattern recognition algorithms, the speech recognition technology quickly becomes trained to understand the individual user's voice pattern, including dialect, inflection, and pronunciation. The unit's multilingual support enables it to recognize a variety of different languages across the same installation, allowing the user to work in his or her own native language, resulting in increased picking accuracy.

The functionality of a PDA, the versatility of hands-free picking

Unlike other voice-directed picking units relying solely on verbal commands, EASYpick Voice features a full-screen PDA display. To eliminate "ear fatigue," a common problem occurring after extended picking sessions that causes users to hear commands incorrectly, spoken commands transmitted by the system are displayed on the screen. The onscreen text confirmation of verbal commands provides a visual backup for pickers, lessening ear strain. The display screen also enables EASYpick Voice to offer a more robust set of control options and inputs than other units, including commands found in Real Time Solutions EASYpick® pick-to-light systems.

With an easy-to-use interface that combines the functionality of a PDA with the benefits of hands-free picking, EASYpick Voice provides workers with superior flexibility and the mobility needed to perform tasks faster and more accurately. By keeping both hands free for picking and lifting, workers also fall victim to fewer work-related injuries.

Rugged design keeps powerful hardware secure

EASYpick Voice offers a rugged design built upon hardware from Symbol Technologies(TM), a global leader in secure wireless information systems. The lightweight, ergonomically correct wearable computer features an Intel® StrongARM(TM) processor, 64 MB RAM, 32 MB ROM, and runs Microsoft Pocket PC(TM) OS (formerly Windows CE(TM)). The unit also includes a comfort-fit headset equipped with a noise-canceling microphone that eliminates much of the background noise and distortion occurring in DCs and other industrial settings. Able to withstand temperatures as low as 32° and as much as 122° Fahrenheit, EASYpick Voice is ideal for working in harsh environments such as refrigerated warehouses.

Integrates easily with WMS, MHCS, and existing wireless systems

With its flexible system architecture, EASYpick Voice integrates quickly and easily with most Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Material Handling Control Systems (MHCS). By providing real-time statistics such as order completion and replenishment notification, EASYpick Voice increases WMS and MHCS effectiveness enterprise-wide, providing true cost-savings. The unit also interfaces seamlessly with existing wireless systems by broadcasting and receiving transmissions on IEEE 802.11b, the industry standard frequency for short-range wireless Ethernet communications. It also meets or exceeds all Federal Communications Commission requirements for wireless communications.

"This is truly the next generation of intelligent picking systems," said Legg. "EASYpick Voice is the ideal solution for operations that need a flexible, fully integrated picking solution with a measurable return on investment."

EASYpick Voice is expected to be commercially available in spring 2003.

Additional information on EASYpick Voice will be available during ProMat 2003, February 10-13, 2003, at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center. Please stop by the FKI Logistex booth in Hall B, booth number 1407, to speak with any of the on-hand picking experts.

For more information, please contact FKI Logistex Real Time Solutions by calling (510)-985-6300 or via e-mail at info@picktolight.com; you can also visit the FKI Logistex Real Time Solutions on the web at www.picktolight.com.

About Real Time Solutions

Real Time Solutions systems are installed and maintained in over 280 sites in North America, Latin America, and Europe, with more than one million lights installed. Key products include Outbound Productivity Suite (OPS), EASYpick and EASYput® order fulfillment systems, RF carts with lights, and voice and light trees on carousels, each providing real-time management tools to help balance work load distribution, monitor order completion, and track productivity.

Real Time Solutions, an FKI Logistex company, is the leading developer and provider of hardware and software order filling solutions that increase productivity and accuracy in warehouses and distribution centers. Real Time Solutions, which has been evolving paperless picking solutions for more than a decade, currently has more than 100 employees in two California facilities.

For more information, contact Stephen Legg, president, FKI Logistex Real Time Solutions, by telephone at (510) 985-6300, via e-mail at info@picktolight.com, or by visiting the company web site at www.picktolight.com.

About FKI Logistex

FKI Logistex is a leading supplier of integrated material handling solutions for distribution, baggage handling, freight, parcel, and manufacturing applications. FKI Logistex supplies its customers with an integrated set of leading edge technologies in high-speed sortation, conveyor systems, carousels, palletizing, paperless pick products, AS/RS, controls, order processing software, warehouse control systems, and total materials handling automation.

FKI Logistex (www.fkilogistex.com) is a part of FKI plc (LSE: FKI.L) a UK-based international engineering group. FKI Logistex is comprised of the industry's most successful and recognized brands, including Alvey Systems, Cleco, Crisplant, Crisplant a/s, Automation Division (incorporating Buschman Operations, Mathews Operations, and CMP Corporation), Integration Division, Io Systems, Real Time Solutions, and White Systems.

For more information, contact FKI Logistex, 1500 Lebanon Road, Danville, KY, 40422; telephone: (877) 935-4564; e-mail info@fkilogistex.com.

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