Interview with Andreas Koenig, CEO at Wearable Scanner: ProGlove

ProGlove builds the smallest, lightest, and toughest barcode scanners in the world, connecting workers to the Internet of Things. This promotes human-machine collaboration and drives the digitisation of the shop floor.

More than 500 renowned organisations in manufacturing, production, logistics, and retail use these smarter workforce solutions. We employ approximately 200 people from over 30 countries including the UK. ProGlove is backed by growth-focused investors, Summit Partners, DICP Deutsche Invest Capital Partners, and Bayern Capital.
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How did the idea for the company come about?

Jonas Girardet, Thomas Kirchner, Alexander Grots, Paul Günther founded ProGlove in 2014, after winning the “Make it Wearable” Challenge in Silicon Valley. The initial idea of a basic wearable glove, that delivered information to workers within industrial applications, evolved into a wearable barcode scanner during the time that Paul was running guided tours to tourists at BMW.

He observed many of the BMW workforce wearing gloves when they were using scanners, and that’s when he had a light bulb moment: What if you could connect the worker with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), meaning what if you could connect the glove to the scanner?

By adding a scanner to the back of one’s hand, the wearable scanner enables hands-free scanning and therefore provides more efficiency, and quality in the field of industrial production – important traits that Paul noticed while providing tours at BMW, and which other organisations are eager to solve and achieve too.


How has ProGlove evolved over the past years?

In 2018, ProGlove was a one product company, but in just a short space of time it’s developed into an entire ecosystem: We now have 4 different scanners and a selection of wearables, along with connectivity, software and data analysis solutions.

Last year, ProGlove was recognised as a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum for its potential to impact supply chains globally. It was a confirmation not just of our technology vision; but our commitment to human-centered design and the digital connection between people and processes.

As a result of this, I was invited by the World Economic Forum to participate in this year’s Davos Agenda Week (January 25-29, 2021), being a keen advocate of worker empowerment, it provided me with a platform to continue to talk about this.

What can we hope to see from ProGlove in the future?

Ensuring global economic prosperity and stability is more important than ever as the world continues to struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic; despite this, it is critical to focus even more closely on the human worker and their safety at work too.

With or without the pandemic, there are three core objectives that ProGlove will be helping its customers achieve. First, we need to connect the human worker to the Internet of Things. Second, we need to enhance human-machine collaboration.

Third, we need to relentlessly drive the digitisation of the shop floor. This will allow businesses to tap into micro-efficiencies and scale them massively while raising product quality immensely. At the same time this will also promote worker well-being and safety.

Both of which pay off tremendously in the long run. ProGlove will also continue to contribute to the World Economic Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with policymakers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.