Device measures ‘happiness’ in Japanese workplaces

(NHK/AVN/CNN) — Electronics giant Hitachi is giving wearable IT devices a new twist — the gadget is designed to measure whether people are happy in their workplace.

The device looks similar to a company ID badge and is embedded with an acceleration sensor. The wearable card detects the vitality of the person’s movements during walking, standing up and speaking, among other actions.

Hitachi engineers say there’s a certain co-relation between people’s physical movements and their sense of happiness. They say if people in the same office wear the device, the data can be collectively analyzed to measure workplace happiness in a scale of zero to 100.

Hitachi plans to start offering the technology in April to help clients improve their office atmosphere and business efficiency. Hitachi hopes that companies will one day use the happiness scale as a key management index, much like the profit margin.

Chief researcher Kazuo Yano says the concept for the device emerged after they learned co-workers communicate more effectively and perform better at work if they socialize together.

He says he hopes Hitachi’s wearable device will help improve productivity by quantifying the mood at a workplace.

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