Amazon Patents Wristband To Track Hand Movements Of Warehouse Employees

Submitted by: littlemissqt 2 weeks ago in Tech


What Amazon will probably say to justify this later:It’s so we can tell if one of our staff is stealing

What the Gizmoto article says it’s for:It vibrates or shocks employees if they sort the packaging wrong

What Amazon’s ulterior motive probably is: We can track the pace of their work and if they’re taking a few seconds too long or using their hands to wipe their sweaty brows, we bring it up at a performance review and will fire them for it. But remember that if you whine about this or demand better conditions/wages, we’ll just replace you with robots, so keep working you mindless and invasively-monitored drones

From the article:

The two new patents, first spotted by Geekwire, are for wristbands that track where a given warehouse workers’ hands are at all times. You read that correctly. I have seen the future, and it’s just rows and rows of low-paid workers in endless warehouses being told to stop picking their noses. Or to get back from their bathroom break, as it were.

In theory, the wristbands are designed to track where an employee’s hands are in relation to inventory bins and even provide haptic feedback when a worker is putting something in the incorrect bin. Which is to say that the wristband could nudge you like a Nintendo 64 rumble pak whenever you were doing something wrong. (Or, I guess, it could hypothetically “zap” you if our imaginations were to go full dystopian and add some tasers.)
There are 8 comments:
Male 41,418
My husband wanted me to upgrade to Windows 7 but I said

"I Still Love Vista, Baby!"

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Male 6,499
It will not be long till WalMart adopts these
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Male 9,021
The misrepresentation of this is unbelievable.

The idea of the vibration is to lead the filler's hand(s) in the right direction.  Think of it as tactile GPS.

And yes, can be used to track their employees. This is not a radical idea. Most companies DO have ways to tracking their employees.  

Delivery vehicles are regularly tracked. Many employee badges can be tracked via RFID.  Most employer computer systems track your work.

Surprise: They're paying you to work. They also want to ensure you are.  Most of these 'Amazon horror stories' are exactly what we used to call 'work'. (OH MY GAWD!!! All the package are not stored at waist level. They expect them to bend over or reach over there head.  HORRORS!).

BTW....there's a REAL easy way to not be tracked while working for Amazon.
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Male 748
megrendel For that matter they already know what a worker should be doing, since they already have a list of what the worker should have picked.  This really does just add in error checking.

I wouldn't be surprised if their ergonomics department uses the bracelets to identify items that are awkward picks and relocating them for easier picks.

Side note for perspective:  I designed a system for an automotive company that delivers the next part for an operator to install in a car to the same position, with only minimal interaction from the operator.  Despite the fact that the systems are really expensive and a bit buggy, the company has bought similar systems repeatedly because they have determined that the built in error checking, and reduced walking distance for the operator is worth it.
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Male 418
I'm shocked! (/s)  From all the nightmare stories I've heard about working for this company I'm simply surprised this isn't attached to their balls to deliver a jolt.  
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Male 764
If I have to wear that at work I'm gonna use it to jerk of everyday during my lunch break.
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Male 9,021
fuad119 Yeah, according to my fitbit, I've 'ran' 126 miles this week.
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