Amazon Patents Wristbands That Alert When Workers Are Slacking

Amazon has privacy advocates crying foul after it was revealed the company has won two patents for a wristband that could track workers' movements and breaks. The tracking device would know your every move and even nudge you with vibrations when it thought you were doing something wrong. 

It's unclear whether the online retail giant intends to create and require their warehouse workers to wear the tracking devices, but Amazon has been known for trying out-of-the-box strategies in the name of improving efficiency. 

Privacy advocates say a lot can go wrong with tracking technology, pointing to the recent story about several United States military bases revealed by a fitness app that allowed people to track their activities online and compare performances with others. Military members who wore wristbands like Fitbits had unknowingly highlighted routes, and movements of personnel in Iraq and Syria. 

Critics also say the wristbands not only add an additional layer of surveillance to the workplace but also treats employees more like robots than people. 

In theory, the wristbands would be useful for workers to find the proper inventory bins to fill orders. Haptic feedback would be able to guide the user's hands to the correct bin faster, resulting in more orders filled per hour. 

Photo: Getty Images

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