Reader Question


I watched your recent videocast on Wearable RF devices in Distributon, and have a few questions for Robert Ulery of OHL Logistics (to view an on-demand version of the Videocast, go to: Wearables in Distribution Center Applications.

1. How is the battery life on the Motorola WT4090 terminals? Can they last an entire shift? Should we get the extended life battery?

2. The screen is landscape QVGA.  We need to shrink the 16x20 handheld screen and stretch the font to get it to look normal or rotate the screen, or map a key to scroll the text. Did you have a similar issue, and how was it handled?

3. I have heard wearables are not good for tasks that require a lot of key entry. Is this true?

Director of Distribution

Consumer Direct Operations

High Tech Company


Category: Distribution, Automated Data Collection


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Expert Panelist Response: Robert Ulery, who recently left OHL to take a job as a Vice President at Consulting firm Johnson Stephens.


(1) Batteries - We got 8+ hours out of the standard battery. As with all batteries, the key is to manage charge cycles. We labeled batteries by shift to be sure we used them only for a shift (ours would make it about half way through second shift before dying) then charged for a full shift.  No problems here for us, and no need for extended batteries. 

(2) We also had a portait-screened WMS and had to convert to landscape on the wearable. Quest Solution has software that remapped the screen, and this was transparent to the WMS. Combined with screen config work, we got a good, readable font that the pickets liked. 

(3) I agree heavy data entry is not good in the wearable. I do not recommend them for receiving, inventory control, or other data-entry intensive tasks. We just used MC9090s for those tasks and saved $500 each. 

Hope this helps.

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