In other situations, the system can verify the value entered without asking for a secondary user confirmation—for example, if lot numbers are unique to each location. In that case, it may be faster for a user to voice-enter the last 3 or 4 digits of the lot than to scan the number. A good rule of thumb is that scanning will generally be faster than voice if the string of numbers being entered exceeds five digits. And as noted in the catch weight example, scan-entry eliminates human error (users misspeaking a number), which improves overall process efficiency.
Multi-modal beyond voice and scanning
While much of the current interest in multi-modal applications is focused on the need for more efficient data capture using a combination of speech recognition and barcode scanning, multi-modal is about more than voice and scanning. Notwithstanding the advantages of voice direction, there are places where a device display can be used to supplement voice—for example, in presenting lists of items and/or item images.
The important point is that true multi-modal applications give DCs new flexibility to design their processes to suit evolving business needs, rather than requiring them to adapt to the limitations of a single technology. In the food and beverage industry this means more efficient and effective warehouse operations that simultaneously enhance product traceability and reduce costs.