Amazon patents wristband that monitors and directs workers' hands


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Amazon has patented designs for a bracelet (GeekWire) that would monitor workers’ hand movements and use vibrations – known as “haptic feedback” – to point them in the right direction if they put their hands on the wrong places. The concept is meant to streamline and fulfil more orders, but has also raised concerns over extra surveillance in the work environment. 

One patent’s description reads that the approach would remove existing time-consuming acts, “such as pushing a button associated with the inventory bin or scanning a barcode associated with the inventory bin.”

The patent for the ultrasonic wristband was filed in 2016 by Jonathan Cohn, a senior technical program manager for Amazon Go, the checkout-less store which recently opened in Seattle.

In a statement to technology site The Verge, an Amazon spokesperson said that the speculation that it times the toilet breaks of employees is “misguided.”

“This idea, if implemented in the future, would improve the process for our fulfillment associates. By moving equipment to associates’ wrists, we could free up their hands from scanners and their eyes from computer screens,” said the spokesperson.

This is an emerging story which needs expansion. If you wish you may EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK.

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