Post-its are an invention of the 80s. But they are also a crucial prerequisite for ProGlove’s wearable scanners. On May 8, 2021, the inventor of Post-its passed away. So, it is time for a short tribute.
“I’m not sure about my MacBook, but I would gladly give up any Windows Notebook for a block of Post-it Notes and a pen,” said ProGlove Co-Founder Thomas Kirchner. He wrote this in an internal Teams Channel to all employees in response to the death of Dr. Spencer Silver, the one who had created the basis for the Post-its with its patented adhesive. To this day, they remain an indispensable tool for the development of wearable scanners and all other ProGlove products.
Wearable scanners and Post-its put the human in the center
When you enter the ProGlove office, you see these sticky notes immediately. Post-its are virtually omnipresent. And it’s not just there that they defy the advance of digitization. This is probably due to the fact that they address two basic human needs. They address their desire for haptics and visualization. This way, they enable effortless collaboration within and outside of a team. This is because they not only visualize ideas, they also help to structure them. And that’s precisely what’s indispensable when you’re tinkering with innovations. As with the wearable scanners from ProGlove, their success is based on one core idea: they put human beings at the center.
A concrete observation makes the difference
The Post-its were introduced to the market in 1980 by 3M. Not only Dr. Spencer Silver worked there, but also Art Fry. The latter remembered his colleague during a choir rehearsal in church, of all places. Until then, he had only ever used simple paper strips as bookmarks in his hymnal. However, these kept falling out. He recognized the solution to this problem in the adhesive of his colleague Spencer Silver. Just as in the development of ProGlove’s wearable scanners, a concrete observation thus played a decisive role.
When it came to wearable scanners, that was the quandary for BMW’s assembly line workers. They had to reach for their conventional barcode scanners again and again. In the process, they lost valuable time. Incidentally, both inventions have something else in common. They open up unimagined efficiencies. This potential often lies dormant where you wouldn’t necessarily expect it.
And then there is an anecdote that ProGlove likes to tell. A former top manager of an automotive company, after reading an article in a major daily newspaper, instructed his employees to get the wearable scanners from ProGlove. He stuck a Post-It with a handwritten note on the clipping of the article.