Participants In Fraunhofer IPA Pilot Study Prefer ProGlove Scanners

Participants In Fraunhofer IPA Pilot Study Prefer ProGlove Scanners
  • ProGlove proves to be more efficient, ergonomic and healthy selection than alternative scanners
  • Participants were 11.5% faster when using ProGlove, than with ring and handheld scanners
  • ProGlove scanners lead to less flexion and wrist extension, reducing muscular strain

Chicago/Munich, October 5, 2023 – The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has examined the health effects of different barcode scanners in a pilot study with two independent participants on behalf of ProGlove. The research suggests that the products of the wearable tech pioneer reduce the risk of arm and hand diseases. Furthermore, ProGlove’s glove scanners were, on average, 11.5% faster than the other tested ring and handheld scanners when shelf picking. Finally, all test participants stated they preferred ProGlove’s scanners over the other devices participating in the test.

Risk factors during the scanning process

The picker-to-parts processes common in logistics are labor-intensive and time-consuming. They often involve physical effort, such as lifting or pulling. When scanning a barcode, the worker also performs the same motion repeatedly. These are all risk factors that can lead to hand and arm conditions. For example, more than 60 percent of order pickers report musculoskeletal disorders. Common problems include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and tennis elbow. Occupational Overuse Syndrome of the hand or wrist capsule is also one of the “repetitive strain injuries” increased by repetitive activities. These risk factors are especially critical when they occur in combination. Lack of rest or unnatural hand postures during scanning can exacerbate the effects.

The pilot study conducted by Fraunhofer IPA aimed to investigate the influence of different scanner types on the risk of hand-arm disorders. During the investigations, typical hand and finger scanners on the market were compared with ProGlove’s wearable scanners. The research institute recorded motion data and electromyograms (EMG) of various forearm muscle groups during the scanning process. The study subjects were scanning in isolation as well as in different environments, such as on shelves and in the warehouse.

Study results

The pilot study demonstrated that wrist flexion and extension are lower with the ProGlove devices, especially during isolated scanning. Compared to the handheld scanner, the measured muscle activity was lower in the test subjects, meaning the muscles were less stressed. This can reduce the risk of hand-arm disorders, especially when repeated over a long period of time. Not only does this help workers, but companies also benefit from fewer absences due to illness. Another important study result was that all participants found the ProGlove scanners more comfortable to use,preferring them to the other tested barcode scanners. Wearable barcode scanners can also significantly improve the scanning process. They increase process reliability by reducing errors. At the same time, they reduce the total time required per scan.

In this study, ProGlove performed better in terms of efficiency and ergonomics, especially when compared to handheld scanners.

More information about this pilot study is available at:

About ProGlove

Founded in 2014, ProGlove provides smart wearable scanner solutions that fuel a continual stream of worker-driven productivity gains. More than 2,000 global industrial customers trust in ProGlove’s innovations. Organizations deploy them to optimize worker experience, maximize uptime, and get more done with existing teams. The company’s hard- and software solutions augment the boots on the ground and promote human-machine collaboration. This brings speed, accuracy, guidance, and ergonomics to the shopfloor workers. Thus, ProGlove’s wearable tech solutions provide organizations with unique shopfloor and device data points. This powerful combination of soft- and hardware enables significant process optimizations, error reductions, and worker well-being enhancements. Pioneers and innovators of all sizes in automotive, manufacturing, retail, and logistics rely on ProGlove. Users report productivity gains of up to 20 per cent and up to 33 per cent fewer errors. With each scan, they can leverage time savings of up to 6 seconds per scan. ProGlove’s customers include organizations such as BMW, DHL, Gap Inc. and Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services. The wearable tech pioneer employs more than 350 people from over 30 countries with offices in Chicago (US), Coventry (UK), Munich (Germany), and Belgrade (Serbia). More information is available at