Glove's off

Getting a Handle on Digitalization

The gloves are off in the battle to get ahead in digitalization.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A product made by a German startup, ProGlove, could be the first harbinger of how wearables intersect with the digitalization of industry.

  • Facts


    • ProGlove’s product is a wearable with built-in sensors and scanners.
    • The chief makers of scanners are Datalogic, Honeywell and Zebra but there are no comparable products so far on the market.
    • According to a study,  European companies will have to invest €90 billion annually over the next 15 years in order to play a leading role in digitalized industry.
  • Audio


  • Pdf


Some people have a good idea, launch a company – and then look for money.

Thomas Kirchner and Paul Günther did it the other way round.

A brainwave won them $150,000 in a competition run by chip company Intel. “So we had to set up a firm for them to transfer the money to,” said Mr. Kirchner a year and a half later.

They called their new company ProGlove, initially consisting of four people, developing wearables for industry.

The start-up entrepreneurs fitted a working glove with sensors. It means production workers can scan components with a single thumb control.

It cut the time they need to check if they have taken the right screw off the shelf and fitted it in the right place. Up to now they needed to use a hand scanner, which only takes a few seconds each time – but over the course of a working day, takes up valuable man hours.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.