A new kind of Smart ID badges that collect information about your performance in office all day long have been supposedly developed and tested. As per reports from CBC News, several such prototype badges have been designed by a Boston based tech firm named Humanyze.
Implications of such a technology can be huge. You walk into office one fine day and the badge starts collecting data about the tone of your voice, your movements, body language etc. The raw data collected is processed and analysed by your employer to know about your office behaviour. Sounds really spooky, doesn’t it? The Badge has microphones to collect your voice samples which are used in analysing your tone and your contributions in meetings and official discussions. It’s also equipped with smart sensors like accelerometers to measure your body movement and hence gather info on your body language. This also includes how often you leave your desk. The Badge generates almost 4 gigabytes of data regarding your body language and your behaviour in general by the day’s end. Don’t believe it? Well, believe it or not, this new technology has already been tried by employees at Deloitte, St. John’s, who volunteered to use them as an experiment. The employees were, of course, guaranteed that they would have exclusive rights over their data. This experiment was performed to analyse the behaviour of employees in an open-space concept.
Employers believe that this is a tool that can revolutionize any industry by creating better and more efficient employees. Sylvia Gonzalez Zamora, analyst at Deloitte, says, “The minute that you get the report that you’re not speaking enough and that you don’t show leadership, immediately, the next day, you change your behaviour.” Ben Waber, CEO of Humanyze, is surely optimistic about this technology.He says, “To be able to show you — here’s what the people who get promoted do … here’s what the top performers do, here’s what the happiest people do — and show that change over time and how your behaviour is changing over time”. Most employers think that this badge is the future. Some are even willing to keep a track of the employee’s personal time in order to facilitate ‘self-improvement’.
Many have criticized the use of such technologies saying that it could do more harm than good. Some are of the opinion that modifying an employee’s behaviour as per needs of an employer could potentially curb innovative ideas.