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The Evolution of the UPS Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD)


UPS revolutionized the package delivery business in 1991 when it developed and deployed the first Delivery Information Acquisition Device, known as the DIAD. Two decades later, UPS continues its pioneering development efforts with the fifth generation of the DIAD - the DIAD V.

DIAD I - 1990

  • Electronically captured delivery information, including signatures.
  • Delivery information uploaded at end-of-day upon return to UPS.
  • Scanned bar codes.
  • Programmed route and maintained timecard information.
  • Tallied CODs.
  • 0.75 megabytes of memory.

DIAD II - 1993

  • Delivery information uploaded real-time through in-vehicle cellular service.
  • Conduit for two-way communications in vehicle.
  • Incorporated driver recommendations for design and ease of use.
  • Smaller and lighter.
  • 100 percent more memory (1.5 megabytes).
  • Back-lit keyboard.

DIAD III - 1999

  • First device in industry to both capture and transmit real-time delivery information.
  • Enables two-way communication away from vehicle.
  • Three ways to transmit real-time delivery information:
  • Internal packet data radio.
  • In-vehicle cellular service.
  • Built-in automatic dialer for traditional telephone transmission.
  • Faster processor, with memory increased more than four times (6.5 megabytes).
  • Global keyboard glows in the dark.
  • Modular architecture enables easy upgrading of individual components.

DIAD IV - 2004

  • First device in industry to use Bluetooth, WiFi and GPRS or CDMA connectivity options.
  • Introduces Global Positioning Satellite to handheld computer market.
  • Color screen easier to read and facilitates color-coded messages to drivers.
  • Acoustical modem facilitates dial-up access if necessary.
  • Expanded memory (128 megabytes) positions for future services.
  • Continued ergonomic improvement with driver input, e.g., lighter, curved design.

DIAD V – 2010

  • First device in industry to switch on-the-fly between cellular carriers independent of cellular technology.
  • Faster WiFi support (600 mbps) enables larger and richer content downloads such as training videos
  • A state-of-the-art color display and microprocessor with expanded memory to support driver training and future applications including navigation
  • About half the size (3.5”) and weight (1.3 pounds) of DIAD IV.
  • A color, auto-focus, flash camera could be used to enhance proof-of-delivery and to help resolve customer claims.
  • An aggressive multi-dimensional imager to decode many symbologies, including UPS linear barcodes, without requiring the driver to rotate the DIAD to capture the barcode. 

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