Amazon could make a bracelet that tracks workers’ movements and buzzes them if they move in the wrong direction

An Amazon warehouse worker. Getty/Leon Neal
  • Amazon was just awarded a new patent for a cuff-like device that would track users’ wrist movements.
  • If made, it would use ultrasonic frequencies to help guide warehouse workers, potentially improving their efficiency.
  • The idea behind the device is to save workers time.

Amazon may be looking to improve its workers’ efficiency in new ways.

As was spotted by Geekwire, the company was just awarded a patent for a device that would attach to its warehouse workers’ wrists and track their movements using ultrasonic waves. In conjunction with a receiver unit, those ultrasonic waves could track where the worker’s hand is in real time and guide it to pick out items, then pack them in boxes.

If the worker’s hand moves in the wrong direction, for example, a slight vibration in the wrist would let them know.

Amazon patent

According to the patent, the device would be used to help save warehouse workers time. Instead of spending time searching for something, they could be guided right to it by the bracelet. But, the technology could also potentially be used to monitor performance of workers in their assigned tasks.

Amazon filed the patent in 2016.

In a statement, Amazon said any speculation about the bands use is “misguided.”

“Every day at companies around the world, employees use handheld scanners to check inventory and fulfil orders,” the company said. “This idea, if implemented in the future, would improve the process for our fulfillment associates. By moving equipment to associates’ wrists, we could free up their hands from scanners and their eyes from computer screens.”

Amazon patent