Computerized sleeves may soon allow manufacturing bosses to monitor and record workers’ moves and mine them for efficiency data.
The sleeves are just prototypes for now, but the devices are intended to replace stopwatch-wielding time lords hovering around employees to assess their efficiency.
Motion-capture systems (such as those used to animate computer-generated movie characters) might allow Big Brother monitoring on par with the sleeves, but such systems require special computing, expensive video cameras and other impractical elements. So a pair of wearable, breathable electronic sleeves may become the ultimate micromanaging tool.
“The present stopwatch method only allows a process organizer to time five individuals simultaneously, depending on the situation,” said research manager Martin Woitag of the Fraunhofer Institute in a press release. “Our solution makes it possible to record time simultaneously, even at several workplaces, without requiring additional labor.”