Amazon Is Now Tracking Employee Movement And It's Straight Out Of Black Mirror
The latest episode of Black Mirror?!
It's no doubt that Amazon is quickly becoming, if not is already, one of the world's largest and most powerful companies. They can also make a bold claim for being the world's most innovative companies, with Amazon Go - the world's first automative grocery stores - just opening a few weeks ago.
Millions of people use and love Amazon Prime, the ability to order something with a guarantee that it arrives within two days. But has anyone ever stopped to question how they make this happen?
One can assume that it's due to strict deadlines and a high amount of efficiency demanded from their workers. Well perhaps the assumption isn't too far from the truth, as Amazon is looking to continue cracking the metaphorical whip.
The US Patent and Trademark Office awarded Amazon patents for a wristband that tracks the movement of an employee. It's an ultrasonic bracelet that in practice, will tell an employee whether they're making the right or wrong action, e.g. reaching for the right bin or product. The bracelet fully tracks what a worker will be reaching for, monitoring their efficiency and in the case of a mistake, will give a burst of "haptic feedback" - similar to the strong vibrations in a phone or game controller.
The bracelet is intended to cut time-consuming acts down and maximize efficiency. However, it's easily worth noting that in theory, all workers will be tracked and monitored with much more detail than in years past.
The idea of being tracked by their bosses definitely doesn't impress employees; many have already been going on strike over their disappointing pay. So what's the fine line of this invention? Is it a greater step towards efficiency and service? Or a stretch too far to try and become a bigger and faster company.