In the quest for competitive advantage, companies are poised to adopt wearable technologies in order to improve performance. These include wearable biometric devices recently announced to measure heart rate and other biological functions in the drive to achieve the so-called "human optimization."
The new technology is reportedly based on the innovation being used by sports teams today to ensure that their athletes are in top condition ahead of big matches or races, The Independent reported.
"There isn't a competitive sports team in the world that doesn't adopt high-end analytics tracking the athletes on the field, off the field, at home, when they're sleeping, when and what they're eating," Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London, told Bloomberg.
The devices, which are now attracting interest from financial institutions, consultancies, security firms and customer contact centers in the U.K., measure and store information of their wearer's biological profile so that they can determine periods of peak performance. They can also tell whether an employee needs a day-off.
The ultimate goal of the biosensors is to align human behavior and biometric data with organizational objectives and performance. These wearable devices are currently being evaluated and fine tuned mainly to avoid accusations of intrusion to employee privacy. It also worth noting that even the development and implementation of some organizations who have availed of the biometric sensors are shrouded in secrecy, protected by strong confidentiality agreements. The potential, therefore, for the violation of employee privacy and rights could be a source of concern.
"It's not just about other people learning about what makes their employees productive. When workers learn about themselves and get intra-personal knowledge about their own habits and what makes them perform to a higher standard, they find that incredibly insightful," Brauer countered in an interview with The Independent.
Identified companies involved in the research of these new biometric devices include Equivital, Humanyze and Goldsmiths. A tamer example of biometric sensors in action is demonstrated in the Indian government's biometric portal, which monitors employee attendance as explained in this First Post report.