Just occasionally, a bit of gear comes out that makes you wonder just whose side technology is on. And none more than this cell-phone idea from the R&D geeks at KDDI Corporation, one of Japan’s biggest cell-phone makers. Spyware by any other name, the technology will enable bosses to use the accelerometer on their employees’ phones to check up on whether they’re working or not.
The idea is simple: software is embedded into an employee’s mobile that is connected to a server that analyzes their movements via the phone’s accelerometer. At first, workers will have to input just what action they are performing into their mobiles so that their movements can be interpreted. The system becomes more accurate as time goes on, recognizing each individual’s movements. So, if your boss has asked you to hoover up the nasal hair he clipped before nipping off to lunch with his secretary, he can make sure that you’re performing the task he’s set you, rather than sitting in front of his computer and checking up on your Facebook page–or his.
The press release has a rather quaint term for it–“making central monitoring possible with workers at several different locations.” I have another term for it, but sadly it’s not repeatable here.