Will Your Employer Start Checking Your Pulse At Work?

from the buhdump,-buhdump dept

Over the years, several companies have experimented with high-tech ways of closely monitoring the actions of their employees, but it's never been clear that this does much good. In addition to the direct cost of whatever technology is used, it can also breed resentment among employees who aren't crazy about the fact that they're always being monitored. One company is hoping to find a market for a system that will constantly measure the heart rates of all of a company's employees. The idea is that if someone's heart rate spikes dramatically, it's a sign that something serious is occurring. Perhaps they're being robbed, or maybe they're committing a crime themselves. The company believes its primary customers will be places like casinos and banks, which have very high security needs and a number of customer-facing employees. Again, though, this technology seems certain to make employees uncomfortable, since nobody will be eager to wear a bracelet constantly measuring their pulse. It also seems likely that the system will be plagued by false alerts. Heart rates can jump around for a number of reasons, and it will be a waste of resources if security teams spring into action every time an employee gets excited.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Fred Flint, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:17am

    Heart Spikes

    Welcome to the Thought Police. We'll be monitoring every aspect of your internal and external activities from now until you die, just in case you might do something bad or think something bad.

     

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  2.  
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    Yosi, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:20am

    Monitoring heart beating of some people may be a good idea. Just to see that it's still beating. Think about policeman for example.

     

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  3.  
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    syzygy (profile), Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:30am

    HR?

    For the general public, heart rate monitors will not be taken with any amount of enthusiasm. The only place where constant monitoring is useful in daily activities are law enforcement and military, which has been using vitals monitors in certain applications for some time now.

     

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  4.  
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    Republican Gun, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:46am

    Gattaca

    Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca! Gattaca!

     

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  5.  
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    Dam, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:58am

    This Assumes One Has A Heart To Monitor

    Some of the jerks I've worked with and for had no heart so what will they monitor? Brainwaves? What if they have no brains either?

    Guess that's why they make good management material.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:00am

    That girl

    I can see some woman getting 'docked' for being a 'distraction' in the workplace, as she walks away in that miniskirt and open mid-rift, setting off alarms of the other cubemates she walks by...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:22am

    that reminds me of the movie with tom cruse were they arrested before they commited the crime

     

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  8.  
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    security, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:29am

    We are already getting inquiries about this

    All hi tech has to begin somewhere

    The idea holds promise, as as the technology is developed, it will be more efficient and productive
    (remember the very early computers)

    It will essentially monitor many bodily functions and factor in what is normal for that person.

    Is a sudden, sharp deviation occurs that is very much out of the norm - Security guards may be alerted or Security Cameras may send remote alert signals to the premises watchers

    This would be advantagous for bank tellers or cashiers of merchandise of a high value etc.

     

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  9.  
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    Big Brother, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:51am

    Re: We are already getting inquiries about this

    But then, who watches the watchers?

     

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  10.  
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    Nasty Old Geezer, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 5:54am

    Re: We are already getting inquiries about this

    It would be be advantagous for the security guards too, they can monitor the cleavage on the secutity cams just by following the jumps in heart rates as the cute girls walk around.

    Seriously -- if my employer made this crap a condition of employment, I will tell them to go "Cheney" themselves.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 6:14am

    But realistically, there's lots of evidence that a person can train themselves to conciously control their heartrate. And undoubtedly one of the cost justifications of a system like this is to pare down security headcount by using fewer guards and focusing on probables flagged by the monitoring system. But if you can generate lots of false positives (send in a herd of strippers and watch all the hetero males rates spike) or if you can suppress your own heart rate, a system like this is less secure than just having a lot of random observant eyes roaming around. And the cost of implementation, coupled with the increased cost of labor (you'll have to pay more to get people to wear a monitor when other places aren't requiring it) seems like it would only make it worthwhile for businesses with a big chance of getting hit for a big loss by a single employee incident, but those same businesses give crooked employees a pretty good incentive to devise extreme means to defeat their security.

     

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  12.  
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    Prophet, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 6:25am

    Controlled Breathing

    I may not be a fitness buff but i do make my way to the Gym at least twice a week and i know for a fact that you can directly control your heartrate by breathing deeply and slowly. When i'm on the treadmill (which has a Heart Rate Sensor) and my HR gets to high if you breathe deeply and slowly i can lower my HR by 10-15 BPM. So this is kind of Pointless. PLus what about when Your a programmer ( which i have been) and your code modlue blows up for the Fifth time and you can figure out why, i know my HR has pumped form that.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 6:29am

    Good grief, heart monitoring? What are they trying to do, make us the living dead when it comes to doing our jobs? There are honestly things I get excited about during my job, and it doesn't mean I'm NOT doing my job. For that matter, hooking people up to a heart monitor system for no good reason would get said people's hearts pumping all by itself. A system like this would never prove useful in any way, shape, or form.

    Fortunately, the company I work for is not like this. At most, they block a lot of non-work-related websites while also logging anything that goes in or out of the firewall, and enforce disciplinary measures if an employee is wasting their time and not getting work done on a regular basis. Our domain administrators are not even able to access users' Exchange mailboxes without due cause, due to privacy restrictions enforced by our auditors.

     

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  14.  
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    Erica, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 6:40am

    why not set up an ekg and a lie detector too.. then we can see what workers re lying to the customers.

     

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  15.  
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    DCX2, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 6:48am

    Re: That Girl

    Yeah, but think about what that does for the morale of the guys. She just turned a shitty day into a good day - and maybe I'll be more productive now because of it.

    Sometimes, I wish women would understand that their beauty can be effective in causing other people happiness, and that they can do it without looking like a slut if that really bothers them.

    Though, it appears like the new generation of girls these days has no problem looking skanky.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:00am

    Re: Gattaca

    Do you think this is similar to Gattaca?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 7:02am

    No more backroom fun

    Oh well, now they will know when the quickie happens...

     

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  18.  
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    Jesus Christ, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 8:45am

    This, my child...

    What if you masturbate all the time? Like really get into it and stuff.

     

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  19.  
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    chaz, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 9:15am

    heart rate

    I had on a heart monitor for training -bike races but I kept it on for two days. It would go off if the phone rang, if my attention was directed, if I thought somthing might be important. I asked the doctor about this and he said nobody goes around with this all day because it just goes off for any thing that grabs your attention. Add this to a list of stupid things.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 9:24am

    Gattaca

    That scene where they were running on a treadmill and he had to use a fake heartbeat to not be foundout that he was a poser.?

     

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  21.  
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    day dreaming, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Well, we all know that heart rate varies due to an array of reasons. I guess if I a heart monitor on, I should stop daydreaming and fantasizing at work huh? Sorry ladies in my dreams......if the blood starts flowing........the whistle comes a blowing! lol

     

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  22.  
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    Ryan, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 12:07pm

    Sounds like heart profiling! @_@

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 1:39pm

    Gattaca? Please get older.

     

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  24.  
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    James, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 2:20pm

    This will be fun

    When half the employees heart rate/pulse spikes due to the morning java ;-p

    ACKKKKKK!!!!! The sky is falling!!!!

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    rEdEyEz, Mar 27th, 2007 @ 4:58pm

    coitus ba-buhdump-us

    You've got this all wrong, think of the benefits, not the drawbacks...

    If my company sponsored "gratification-benefits," I'd gladly let them monitor my "vitals"...

    "A happy worker is a productive worker."

     

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  26.  
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    alternatives, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 4:04am

    Heart rate monitors

    seem to use the same wireless frequency and odds are this system would be wireless also.

    Strikes me that one could create a transmitter that would 'show a spike' in one area, cause the security staff/attention to be drawn to one location while others in another location do whatever they are looking to do.

    Or just the 'fun' of knowing the apes in the control room would be in a panic.

     

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  27.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 6:32pm

    If I read TFA right, the idea is that chasiers in casinos and so on use it, so that if thier hear rate goes up the security guard knows he need to look at that particukr monitor, and more importantly, listen to that microphone, to find out what is going on, rather than just watching for cheaters. It also tells them which strip show is the most interesting at the time, based on the reactions of the security there (unless they hav women bartenders in a gay show)

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Sport Watches, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 5:21am

    A fortune can visit this webpage ... Your information is very useful ....

    Drafting Table

     

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