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Japanese phone boasts killer slacker-sensing app

Oh the data will find work for idle hands to do

Japanese phone co KDDI has been telling the BBC that its latest phones can sense when an employee is slacking off.

The phone can tell when a cleaner is scrubbing, or carrying out any rapid thrusting movements with the right hand.

The information comes from detailed analysis of accelerometer data, gathered wirelessly from the mobile and matched with known activity patterns to monitor if employees are working diligently enough - assuming the employee can be convinced to strap said phone to their wrist.

"Businesses... are very interested in using such technology to improve the efficiency of their workers," KDDI's head of data research in Tokyo told the BBC. "We can offer managers a chance to analyse more closely the behaviour of staff."

The BBC goes on to explain that Japanese employees often work under closer supervision than their western counterparts - pointing out that Japanese truckers and salesmen are logged by GPS. The fact that their western counterparts are equally well tracked these days seems to have escaped the Beeb.

But with this technology KDDI can spot if a user is scrubbing, sweeping or walking, which, if it wasn't for the necessity to wrist-mount the phone, would be genuinely impressive.

Even Japanese phones are still a little large for strapping to the back of a hand, so we can still rest our weary wrists at work without the threat of disciplinary procedures - for the moment at least. ®

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