Sixty years ago today, Plantronics was introduced to the world. It marked the start of a company that would change the way people communicate, a remarkable journey that has taken us to the moon and back.
It all started in 1961 with Mr. Keith Larkin, Mr. Courtney Graham, and a request from United Airlines, who were looking for small and lightweight headsets that could handle the speed and complexity of jet airliners. Their dedication and collaborative efforts led to the introduction of the first lightweight communications headset, the MS-50, to the commercial marketplace in 1962. But we didn’t stop there. At 10:56 pm ET on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong famously declared “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” transmitted through a Plantronics headset.
Plantronics MS50 aviation headsets have been a popular choice of commercial airline pilots for 60 years.
Innovation for New Frontiers
Since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made that giant leap in 1969, much has changed. Our spirit of innovation has not. In March 2018 we acquired Polycom, bringing together the world’s leading headset provider with the world’s leading video and audio conferencing company. And we’re still in the business of taking giant leaps for mankind — just last year, our headsets helped Virgin Hyperloop make history in the first successful test of hyperloop technology with passengers.
Today, all Fortune 500 companies rely on Poly. We’re creating beautifully designed and engineered video and audio products that let you be seen and heard with incredible clarity, wherever you work. We’re helping reimagine how education, financial services, healthcare — even governments — can securely collaborate and reach their audiences. We make it possible for today’s remote workers to look and sound their best with the industry’s first professional-grade personal video conferencing equipment, the Poly Studio P Series. And we’re giving customers greater confidence as they return to their offices with anti-microbial technology embedded in devices and video conferencing appliances that support touch-free meetings.
A rendering of the Poly Studio P Series (left) and testing diffused vanity lighting in the Poly Studio P21 for optimal lighting for video conferences. The Poly Studio P Series is the industry’s first professional-grade personal video conferencing equipment.
Using Our Force for Good
As we enter into this new era, we’re committed to creating the right kind of long-term impact in the world, not just because it matters to our employees, our customers, and our investors, but because it is part of who we are as a company. Today we published our second annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report which outlines our “Using Our Force for Good” strategy to help us track and monitor our progress as responsible corporate citizens. We’re also unveiling our Inclusion, Diversity, Education, and Awareness (IDEA) strategy, and deepening our relationships in industry groups including the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).
As part of our redesigned process, we performed a carbon footprint analysis of the proposed packaging for our products. We’re now using fewer materials, and wherever possible are using those that are renewable, contain recycled content, and/or are recyclable.
Our Long-term Vision
As we look toward the future, the return to the office continues to be top of mind for many of our Fortune 500 customers. Like many, Poly will enact a hybrid approach, yet the future of work relies on creating an equitable meeting experience for both those at the office and those who are not. This is where Poly’s technology shines because our products are tools, not toys, which enable great work from anywhere, on any platform.
The digital transformation is here. Work has never been confined to just an office, as our founders knew too well. Backed by the best software, analytics, artificial intelligence, and insights, Poly products are pro-grade, intuitive, and work seamlessly with all the best video and audio-conferencing services. So whatever your mission, whoever you’re talking to, we make it easy for you to perform at your best and crush every meeting. Here’s to another 60 years – we can’t wait for you to see what’s in store.