remote-controlled workers? amazon to equip staff with performance-monitoring wristbands
 

remote-controlled workers? amazon to equip staff with performance-monitoring wristbands

on march 28, 2016, there were far less of us monitoring amazon’s plans for world domination, but those who saw the early signs remember these troubling documents — a patent, outlining a device, outlining a system that could be used to live-track warehouse workers every movements, down to where there hands are at all times. it took near two years, but as of january 30th, 2018, patent no. 9,881,276 B — amazon’s ULTRASONIC BRACELET AND RECEIVER FOR DETECTING POSITION IN 2D PLANE — has been granted.

amazon patent
all images courtesy of united states patent

 

 

see the little dude reaching for the little X? this is all about him and the challenges he faces everyday. see, his hand can’t get to the X fast enough, and that’s a problem for amazon. this vibrating wristband will help him get there with the speed of a machine. is it creepy? is it controversial? that’s for you to decide. aspects of it certainly leave a lot of room for the imagination to outline the better half of a black mirror episode, but is this really that surprising? in today’s standards, is it really that dystopian? reading the document in full may help clear things up. abstract (57) explains bluntly that the ‘ultrasonic tracking of a worker’s hands may be used to monitor performance of assigned tasks.’ that’s the essence of it.

amazon patent

 

 

 

the full system paints a warehouse free of wasted time, where ultrasonic devices are planted invisibly about like third-bezos-eyes, a warehouse where workers, generally live a normal day to day life — only their wristband vibrates their hand into the proper direction, room-for-error is eliminated, people get packages quicker, workers become AI-integrated, and something omniscient keeps things moving. something like that. it’s a bleak perspective, but it’s plausible. on the other hand, the subtle vibrations may genuinely aid the employees a lot; we may be happy to get our stuff even quicker, and the whole privacy-invasion-thing — that may just be another case of what we can’t see, can’t hurt us. there will always be people who put tape over their laptop camera. amazon probably won’t hire those kind of people. hopefully, amazon will at least be transparent on their job postings; those who aren’t keen on receiving ultrasonic pulses via ultrasonic transducers need not apply.

amazon patent

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