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DIAD V Update

I get to work on user testing to help determine what is needed in future versions of the driver handheld devices, called DIAD (Delivery Information Acquisition Device.) And to do this we ask the experts, UPS drivers:  In January 2008 a driver survey was conducted requesting user feedback, pros and cons, concerning the DIAD IV.  The results indicated three areas of concern:  1) the placement of the signature key, due to customers inadvertently hitting this key; 2) the shifted keypad, which requires the driver to toggle between alpha and numeric characters; and 3) the size of the device, too big and too heavy. 

DIAD VThe next question that needed to be addressed was: does the DIAD V need to be a “custom” device or can the DIAD V be a standard off-the-shelf product?  In the past, standard products did not meet the needs of UPS, which resulted in the need (and expense) of developing a “custom” device.  Customization also requires country and regulatory certifications for the device and accessories for each country in which the equipment will be used.  Today standard products have all the components of a DIAD device plus a few newer innovations.  So, once again, the experts were consulted!  Four standard off-the-shelf devices were tested on-road by drivers at nine different locations.  The test results indicated that two of the devices tested were acceptable (and actually preferred over the DIAD IV) and two of the devices tested were not suited for the operational environment (too small with QWERTY or computer keypads). 

Based on the information provided by our drivers (the real experts), UPS contacted three major companies in the handheld device market which then responded with proposals of their standard ruggedized product(s).  In late 2009, after clarifying and negotiating changes in the proposals, the product and the vendor were selected.  Drum roll please…The DIAD V will be a standard product built by Honeywell.  The device will have a full color VGA screen and expanded radio communication coverage.  The DIAD V will be smaller and lighter than the DIAD IV, which will alleviate issues with the signature key (due to the device size, the customer’s grasp while signing the device will be different) and the DIAD V will have a full alpha numeric keypad, eliminating the shift key.

The UPS and the Honeywell project teams are currently engaged and forging ahead to begin deployment in August 2011.

Category: UPS News
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    Comments [5]

  1. I was a UPS driver helper this Holiday season. My biggest
    challenge in using the DIAD was the non-QWERTY keyboard.

    As time goes by, more and more people are going to be
    familiar with QWERTY and are slowed down proportionally
    with non-QWERTY keyboards.

    I think that should be a major factor going forward.

  2. Madeline,
    Good observation! Many drivers suggested the QWERTY keyboard during the initial
    driver survey and this concept was tested in the field. First, QWERTY keyboards
    require 10 keys across and it was determined by the drivers that the keys were too
    small. Second the drivers generally use the DIAD keypad by using their thumbs,
    unlike when sitting at a desk and typing on a laptop keyboard. These concerns made
    the QWERTY keypad layout less conducive for driver key entry. Good comment, we
    are always open for new thoughts and suggestions!

  3. Creo que tienen que mandar este DIAD V a la Rep.Dominicana.
    aca nosotros trabajamos con el mas viejo de todos…Uno que es pesado y nuy
    grande, seria muy bueno si trabajaramos con ese DIAD V.
    Ya que el de nosotros lo que se parace es un atari.

  4. How can I contact the DIAD V development team and are they really planning on having a keyboard layout that ISN’T “qwerty?”

  5. is this still a thing?
    i just started at ups, and i’m having a bit of a hard time with the diad. i think it’s the first time in my life using a device that has an abc keypad. i’d love to use another one with a logic interface and a qwerty.

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