Big brother will watch you in the office
HITACHI is demonstrating a system which means that if you're in the office you'll be able to run, but you may not be able to hide.
According to a report in the Nikkei Business Daily, the system will use chair based sensors, wireless enabled name tags, while the whole tracking system will be controlled from a single PC.
This is how it's supposed to work. When you get up from your chair, your wireless name tag is activated, and beams your location every half a minute. The wireless signal uses a base station within the office to forward info about your location to the PC.
The person operating the PC can tell exactly where you are, and presumably "questions will be asked" if you spend too much time in the loo, or if your name goes off the radar because you've headed outside for a crafty cigarette.
Presumably if an office romance has flowered, the close proximity of two wireless name tags will give the game away.
A whole cluster of wireless name tags in the same location around the water cooler will presumably raise questions with your bosses too. Were you all plotting a putsch? Or simply chatting about the TV soap you all watched last night?
Perhaps future systems will include a gadget fixed to your waist which will give you a sharp electric shock if you're away from your desk too long. Or include a small printing module which will show you how much has been docked from your salary for your periods of inactivity and even deliver a dismissal notice remotely. The possibilities are endless. µ