United Parcel Service Tuesday announced
plans to outfit its drivers with new handheld computers that can connect to six
different wireless networks.
The new Delivery Information Acquisition Device, or DIAD IV (it’s the fourth
version of the device) features built-in GPRS or CDMA radios (depending on the
area of the world in which it is operating), as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,
infrared and GPS capabilities. UPS said it will test the device, which was
developed in conjunction with Symbol
Technologies, later this year, and will deploy it to its 70,000 drivers
around the world in 2004.
UPS said the multiple wireless options ensure maximum data transmission
flexibility for its drivers, ultimately resulting in customers having the most
up-to-the-minute tracking information available at all times.
To confirm a delivery, drivers scan the package bar code, collect the
receiver’s signature electronically, type in the last name of the receiver, and
push a single key to complete the transaction and distribute the data.
The DIAD IV includes a color screen and 128MB of memory — 20 times more than
its predecessor. UPS said the improvements are intended to help improve customer
service; for example, urgent customer pick-up messages could be color-coded to
alert the driver, while the increased memory allows for features such as
customer preference notes.
UPS also plans to equip its package handlers with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
equipment beginning in June. The five-year, $120 million UPScan
project, calls for the shipping giant to deploy Bluetooth scanner rings and
802.11b terminals to 55,000 package handlers worldwide.
Reprinted from allNetDevices.