Amazon has recently been awarded a patent, according to which, the company is working on a wearable that tracks warehouse workers’ hand movements in real-time.
The patent was originally filed in 2016. First reported by Geekwire, the wristband system has three parts, with an ultrasonic unit for the wrist, various ultrasonic devices placed around the work area and a module to manage all that data.
The patent also points to a haptic feedback module, which could buzz employees for various reasons, including notifying them of breaks or to help them find items in the warehouse.
Naturally, while a patent like this could make efficiency tracking easier for Amazon, it is also likely to raise privacy issues. Although, a Geekwire report notes, the patent itself positions such a wristband as a labor-saving device, helping employees perform their tasks more efficiently and connecting to the inventory system.
Having said that, it is essential to remember that this is still a patent and has just been approved, but that does not guarantee that the project will see the light of the day.
It’s becoming more and more common for companies to monitor their employees through invasive technology, as there are virtually no laws to stop it. A firm in London uses AI to analyze your daily behavior, while the FreshTeam messaging app can track employee locations.