Smart, wearable device sales are projected to double worldwide by 2022, according to industry analyst CCS Insight. While many might think of wearables as something for the consumer, one German startup is showing the tremendous potential of wearables to increase efficiency, safety and ease in the workplace on a larger scale. It is now expanding its presence in North America.
ProGlove, the manufacturer of a smart, wearable technology that provides hands-free scanning solutions across a number of industries unveiled its MARK 2 to a U.S. audience at this year’s 2019 ProMat in Chicago this April.
The new MARK 2 can connect to a corporate network via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or 868 MHz radio frequency. It enables the user to scan up to 5 feet away from a device and includes a battery that holds up to a 15-hour charge. In combination with tablets, smartphones and other portable devices, employees have the freedom to work without a station. Instant Worker Feedback from the MARK 2 provides information to employees, reporting errors or pointing out prioritized shipments.
Barcode scanning plays an important role in many industrial environments. Workers use scanning technology to confirm work orders or document process steps. However, traditional mobile scanners turn out to be clunky and unwieldy. They bring unnecessary weight, must be picked up, and are often lost or quickly damaged. This delays work processes, leads to errors and affects the quality. The smart wearables from ProGlove address these problems and ensure greater efficiency, ergonomics, quality and process reliability.
“Our product connects the worker to the IIoT and is enabling industrial workers and management teams around the world to close the digital chain,” said CEO Andreas König. “We have just started to scratch the surface on the capabilities of this technology and the companies it can positively impact. Above all, we’re putting humans at the center of our technology and strengthening their role in an era of increased automation.”
To boost its North American business, ProGlove has brought a seasoned Vice President of Sales on board: Charlie Grieco will oversee the smart wearable maker’s North American sales activities and report directly to CEO Andreas König. Grieco has more than 20 years of experience and held management positions at AetherPal, SOTI, Dell and other renowned organizations.
“ProGlove is an American story made in Germany,” said Grieco. “It began with the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge, and I think we can add many American chapters to that plot because ProGlove’s technology is all about hyper-efficiency, unparalleled quality, and the connected human worker. These will be the precise ingredients North American businesses need to gain and maintain a competitive edge in the Industry 4.0 era.”
Industry leaders, such as BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, IKEA and Bosch, are already realizing the value of hands-free barcode scanning. The technology saves up to four seconds on every scan. In industries where workers scan hundreds or thousands of times per day — from automotive assembly to manufacturing to logistics to retail and aviation — this adds up to a major increase in efficiency. Plus, the gloves are far more ergonomic than traditional scanning technologies, providing a safer environment for industrial workers.
ProGlove was named a finalist for the 2019 MHI Innovation Awards – Best Innovation to an Existing Product Category for the MARK 2 smart glove.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, Product design