Intel Corp. today introduced DWS, a new software product that promises streamline the supply chain operations of companies such as retailers by automating the labor-intensive chore of measuring packages’ dimensions and volume.
Intel, best known for its chips, also has a presence in a few other markets. Among others, the company sells a line of enterprise-grade depth cameras under the RealSense brand that can be used for tasks such as equipping industrial robotics with computer vision capabilities. The new DWS software announced today works with the RealSense L515 (pictured), a lidar depth camera introduced last December that Intel touts as the world’s smallest high-resolution lidar camera.
Measuring packages is an important part of running a modern supply chain. Delivery companies need to accurately log items’ size and volume to determine how best to allocate cargo capacity in their trucks. An e-commerce company, meanwhile, can use volume measurements of merchandise in its warehouses as a metric for evaluating inventory availability. These types of measurements also play a role in billing.
The challenge is that packages’ dimensions and volume typically have to be logged manually, which creates inefficiencies for large logistics firms processing millions of items per year. Enter Intel’s DWS software. A warehouse operator or delivery company can pair DWS with a number of RealSense L515 lidar cameras, deploy the cameras in its facilities and automate the measurement process.
Intel says DWS takes less than two seconds to glean a package’s dimensions and volume. It’s accurate to the millimeter, according to the chipmaker, and can measure objects ranging from small boxes measuring a few inches across to full-sized pallets. The RealSense L515 cameras DWS uses to capture this data produce images by gathering up to 23 million so-called depth points per second within their field view.
Besides speeding up measurements, Intel