Medicine

Amazon patents device that could track workers' hand movements in real

Amazon patents device that could track workers' hand movements in real

The wristbands also provide a kind of proximity alert that lets workers know if they are "within a suitable close distance to the identified storage location in which the item is stored", according to the patent. When performances reviews come up, bosses will be able to point to days they have noticed employees slacking off. At the time, Amazon chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos said he did not recognize what he called the depiction of "a soulless, dystopian workplace".

On January 30, 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Amazon two patents for wristbands that track workers' hands.

The publicly available patent documents show how wrist-worn devices could deliver ultrasonic pulses that could direct employees to the location of bins for packages being sought.

"Existing approaches for keeping track of where inventory items are stored.may require the inventory system worker to perform time consuming acts beyond placing the inventory item into an inventory bin and retrieving the inventory item from the inventory bin, such as pushing a button associated with the inventory bin or scanning a barcode associated with the inventory bin", one of the patents stated.

Amazon was in the spotlight earlier in the month when CEO Jeff Bezos was deemed the richest man in the world, while a study from Policy Matters Ohio in the U.S. showed that more than 700 workers in the state receive food stamps, despite Amazon reportedly benefiting from millions of dollars worth of tax breaks there. To Amazon warehouse workers, who say they face pressure to meet inventory targets quickly, this invention is a likely reality. The company has won for such a wristband, though it was unclear if Amazon planned to actually manufacture the tracking device and have employees wear it. Jeff Beezos's company is constantly investing in automating these processes: At Seattle's Amazon Go store, it's running out of funds and customer tracking is done through an app on their mobile, guiding them through the store.

Amazon patents wristbands designed to track and steer employees' movements

If you think you may be spared from this tracking future because you do not work for Amazon, think again.

More people are ready to make themselves cyborgs for their employers.

The system reportedly has three parts. With the wave of their microchipped hands, they can log onto their computers and get into the building.

This new technological application has sparked great concern as it increases the company's ability to control its employees, La Repubblica reports.

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