If you think Big Brother already is watching you far too closely, you ain't heard nuthin' yet! KDDI R&D Laboratory (a subsidiary of KDDI, Japan's second-largest phone company) has developed a technology that allows managers to know what their employees are up to, without the need to directly watch or listen.
The 1984-ish technology works through the use of data sent remotely from an acceleration sensor embedded in the employee's cellphone. It's uncomfortably close to having the acceleration sensor embedded in the actual employee. Ouch!
The technology is an enhanced version of current cellphone motion sensors that can note repetitive movements. By adding a back-end analytical server, however, it's now possible to detect and determine more complex actions... or the lack thereof.
The key to the monitoring application is a modified accelerometer chip much like the ones installed in the iPhone and other smartphones. What, you thought they were there for YOUR benefit, so you can play games? Hah!
Even more sinister, the software is kick-started by having the hapless employees record daily reports of their daily motions on an online spreadsheet. By matching and then monitoring subsequent acceleration patterns, the KDDI software can "learn" an employees regular motion patterns and then record any divergences from those patterns.
Potentially, managers could be alerted in real time when such divergences are noted. Yeesh, I'm glad I'm self-employed!
Of course, employees could try to outwit the system by conveniently forgetting their cellphones - but the immobile phone would also be noted by the software. Gahh!!
According to KDDI's press release, "This technology will make central monitoring possible with workers at several different locations."
Central monitoring, presumably by a Central Scrutinizer... Frank Zappa was a prophet after all! (via Asiajin, pointy-haired boss images via Dilbert.com)