Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Amazon Has Patented Wristbands to Constantly Track The Hands of Warehouse Staff

Amazon wins a pair of patents for wireless wristbands that track warehouse workers Amazon patents wristbands designed to track and steer employees' movements
Steve Townsend | 04 February, 2018, 01:30

"They want to turn people into machines", Max Crawford, a former Amazon warehouse worker told the New York Times.

Amazon, which rarely discloses information on its patents, could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Amazon has been granted a patent to create technology that can be used to track the precise locations of workers' hands. Intensive rhythms are dictated by an algorithm, and the unremitting targets placed on workers are times that do not allow them to deviate a second to go to the toilet.

These futuristic wearables would use a combination of ultrasonic sound pulses and shortwave radio transmissions to communicate with nearby objects and work out where they were, and thus where the warehouse workers' hands are.

Critics say such wristbands raise concerns about privacy and would add a new layer of surveillance to the workplace, and that the use of the devices could result in employees being treated more like robots than human beings.

Ravens Newsome to step down after 2018 season
Bisciotti said Ravens players who knelt at the London game was significant and that it "hurt and insulted a lot of our fans". Newsome, 61, has been in charge of the personnel department of the Ravens since the franchise returned to Baltimore in 1996.


Although the patents have been granted, Amazon has not announced any plans to manufacture the devices at present.

If a worker's hands begin to move toward the wrong direction, the proposed "haptic feedback system" would cause the wristband to buzz and direct their hand in the correct direction.

It's worth noting that even though Amazon has been awarded patents for this system, that's no guarantee these bands will ever see the light of day. 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. The system might seem overly intrusive, but Amazon positions this as something that could cut out certain repetitive tasks and help workers be more productive.

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.

In Wisconsin, a technology company called Three Square Market offered employees an opportunity to have microchips under their skin in order, it said, to be able to use its services seamlessly.

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