Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Micro$oft's Monitoring Patent

This is odd. Not sure I would ever allow any monitoring devices to be placed on me. Especially if it's related to Micro$oft.
Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.

The Times has seen a patent application filed by the company for a computer system that links workers to their computers via wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.

Technology allowing constant monitoring of workers was previously limited to pilots, firefighters and Nasa astronauts. This is believed to be the first time a company has proposed developing such software for mainstream workplaces.

Microsoft submitted a patent application in the US for a “unique monitoring system” that could link workers to their computers. Wireless sensors could read “heart rate, galvanic skin response, EMG, brain signals, respiration rate, body temperature, movement facial movements, facial expressions and blood pressure”, the application states.

Considering how well their OS works, I'm not certain I would be depending on this device for any realistic monitoring.

I wonder what it will do when Micro$oft Office locks up and destroys the mornings work? Probably just lock up your system until dumpcheck is finished and then report you as the problem.

1 comment:

BobG said...

I fail to see any legitimate use for such software; what it appears to be is a way to permanently connect people to polygraph machines. What the hell good is that, other than to try and snoop out something about an employee's physical being that is no one else's business.
Just my opinion.