Waitrose has signed a deal to use voice-activated technology in its warehouses.

The grocer has signed a deal with VoiteQ to implement Vocollect Voice which uses headsets and mobile devices to control its warehouse.

Waitrose has trialled the system and will look to quickly roll-out the system in line with its expansion plans. This followed a trial of another voice activated solution in its ambient warehouse.

The system enables hands-free warehouse picking, resulting in a smoother, more continuous operation, increasing productivity and accuracy, the supplier said.

The deployment will include almost 1,000 Talkman A500 terminals and over 3,000 ruggedised SR20 headsets to accommodate multiple shift patterns.

The first pieces of hardware will be installed at the grocer’s Aylesford site where 176 voice-operated control systems will be brought in. Vocollect Voice will work in conjunction with Waitrose’s existing wireless management systems.

Waitrose distribution systems development manager Mark Roe said: “We’ve been impressed at how VoiteQ got to know the business and how they have come on board as a partner, providing choice and testing various scenarios in our DC operations.

“Their knowledge and close relationship with the WMS will provide us with a smooth and seamless roll-out across all of our distribution centres, starting with the Aylesford site where 176 units will be implemented.”

VoiteQ chief executive David Stanhope said: “We’re delighted to add another member of the John Lewis Partnership as one of our customers. We’re dedicated to providing exceptional operational improvements by applying the best voice technology and service.”