Amazon allays fears over device that could track workers’ hand movements

Amazon has been granted a pair of patents for wristbands that emit ultrasonic sound pulses to track hand movements of warehouse workers and guide them into the right inventory bins while collecting and distributing products. The wristband-tracking technology could save workers’ time and boost their efficiency to achieve high targets and it can help the company to do real-time checks on workers who are wasting time or breaking for too long. Workers have reason to be concerned since this new means of workplace surveillance could intrude their privacy. Amazon told AFP that speculation about the patent is misguided. Employees throughout the world use handheld scanners to check inventory and fulfil orders. “By moving equipment to associates’ wrists, we could free up their hands from scanners and their eyes from computer screens,” the statement said. Amazon expects high level of performance. It follows timed-toilet breaks and has packing timers to ensure workers pack enough boxes per hour.