Emerging Technology

Big brother Bill is watching: New tech monitoring of staff

SmartCompany /

Microsoft is working on a remote sensoring system that would allow managers to measure their staffs’ metabolic responses, stress levels and even facial expressions, The Times reports.

The IT multinational has lodged a patent application for a computer and software system that will take measures such as heart rate, respiration rate, brain signals, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure from workers through wireless sensors in their computer.

The purpose of the system is reportedly to gauge workers’ productivity by detecting high levels of stress or frustration and informing management that they may need some help.

Unions are already expressing concern about the technology, the likes of which have previously only being seen in fields like fire-fighting and high-level jet and space flight.

“This system takes the idea of monitoring people at work to a new level, with a new level of invasiveness but in a very old-fashioned way because it monitors what is going in rather than the results,” Peter Skyte, a national officer for union Unite, told The Times.


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