Really, this has been going on for a while. In college I worked for a giant insurance company in an office building where I was tracked every time I came in or out of the building and exactly to the second how long I was on the phone. All of my metrics were tallied on an ongoing basis. If one didn’t expect to work hard one went somewhere else.
Still we didn’t wear wrist bands and in theory I could go to the bathroom without everyone in management knowing. (Though I’d have to sign out of my phone.)
The office building is/was an information factory. And in many respects that’s exactly how the place was run. The only thing missing was the whistle.
The next step in all of this is to have a chip under the skin. That will be a real watershed. I’ve been following the development of RFID for 10 years and it’s been a steady progression. We’re nearly there. (In many respects we ARE there.) The question is which company (God forbid government) will be first to put a chip INTO its workers? There are already small examples of this happening and the day is getting closer and closer for a company of consequence.
Of course we may just skip the whole cyborg stage and go straight to Terminator Society.
It should be noted also that Amazon is now a big time defense contractor and that the CIA does hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cloud computing business with the company.
(From The Guardian)
Amazon has patented designs for a wristband that can precisely track where warehouse employees are placing their hands and use vibrations to nudge them in a different direction.
The concept, which aims to streamline the fulfilment of orders, adds another layer of surveillance to an already challenging working environment.
When someone orders a product from Amazon, the details are transmitted to the handheld computers that all warehouse staff carry. Upon receiving the order details, the worker must rush to retrieve the product from one of many inventory bins on shelves, pack it into a delivery box and move on to the next assignment.
The proposed wristbands would use ultrasonic tracking to identify the precise location of a worker’s hands as they retrieve items.