The Future of Work & Enforced Happiness

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On the left is lauren mccarthy‘s wearable conditioning device that detects if you’re smiling and provides pain feedback if you’re not. (thanks for the link Milly Harris) It is the first in her series of ‘Tools for Improved Social Inter-Acting.’ and reminded me of an article i found a while back from the Mainichi Daily News.  In this article it discusses how employees at the Keihin Electric Express Railway in Japan will soon be subjected to computerised “smile checks” before clocking in for work each morning:

“The device analyzes the facial characteristics of a person, including eye movements, lip curves and wrinkles, and rates a smile on a scale between 0 and 100 percent using a camera and computer. For those with low scores, advice like ‘You still look too serious,’ or ‘Lift up your mouth corners,’ will be displayed on the screen.Some 530 employees of the Tokyo-based railway company will check their smiles with Smile Scan before starting work each day. They will print out and carry around an image of their best smile in an attempt to remember it.”

Social conditioning devices such as these are products to ensure standards of service etiquette are kept, a form of social engineering that that encourages an ideal of how we should all live in particular how we should act in the workplace..so

What is The Future of Workplace?…

So if this is not that much of a surprise in the workplace in Japan, what devices could exist in the UK  to quantify and measure employees?

  • Will there be a way to measure  how much we are actually ‘listening to the boss’ device?
  • A measuring unit that calculates your culture of fear stress levels in work whenever someone speaks to you in the office?
  • Or what if there was a visual indicator of fluffy business nonsense that was being added to the atmosphere in the office during the day?
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