Like most bar code solutions, voice technology works with an operator. Like RFID, voice is a hands-free, eyes-free technology. Voice takes a very human approach to communication with a computer system. The solution turns computer commands into vocal commands and creates a two-way dialogue to talk operators through their tasks.

A voice system consists of a mobile computer that communicates wirelessly with a management system of records, like a warehouse management system, terminal operating system, manufacturing execution system or an ERP system. The operator also wears a headset with a microphone to communicate back with the mobile computer.

One advantage in the multicultural environment of many warehouses today is that a voice system can be programmed to communicate in the operator's native language and dialect.

Voice is most often applied in labor-intensive activities in the warehouse, like piece picking, putaway, replenishment and cycle counting. Any application that requires a number of touches is ideal for voice because the operator's hands and eyes are free. Since operators don't have to stop to scan a bar code, they can improve productivity and accuracy.