The Future of HR Technology: HRMS Glass?

Maybe I’m a bit behind the curve on this, but other than noting its existence I’ve not really paid Google Glass much notice, until recently. It fills me with both admiration for what technology is capable of and horror as we steadily approach a Philip K. Dickian future of HR technology in which personal privacy and individuality is defined in the history books.

In case you live under a rock, Google Glass is a gadget that you wear (like a pair of glasses) that sees what you see and hears what you hear.

The Ultimate in Narcissism

Two recent news stories have made me sit up and take notice. The first concerns an app being developed for Google Glass wearers to use while having sex. It takes advantage of the capability for linking to other headsets to share what you’re experiencing with another user in real time. Apart from maybe being the ultimate in narcissism, this rather graphically highlights the observation and surveillance possibilities in this piece of technology.

If your feet are firmly on the ground when it comes to HR technology, why not check out the 2014 HRMS Software Guide.

The second story wasn’t about Google Glass but something similar. There’s a Kickstarter campaign under way to fund the development of meMINI, a portable (and wearable) camera that can be used to record all those “magic moments” in life that we otherwise lose and forget. Apart from reminding me of the Robin Williams film The Final Cut (in which parents fit their unsuspecting children at birth with a chip that records everything they see and hear their whole lives) this also struck me as another way of normalizing surveillance in modern life.

I can’t helping envisioning a day when wearable technology has been quietly absorbed into the workplace technology array.

So, here’s a question, what happens in the workplace, what does the HR department do when an employee turns up at the office wearing Google Glass? Or a manager fixes a meMINI camera to the wall behind their desk. Couldn’t happen? I guarantee that within a year or two some organisations will have freshly-minted HR policies covering just such eventualities (if they don’t have them already, of course; in fact, come to think of it, what’s Google’s policy on this issue?)

Where will it all end? And as I ask that question I know I have slipped irretrievably into the ranks of the old fogies… I can’t helping envisioning a day when wearable technology has been quietly absorbed into the workplace technology array. In other words, on that day, a new hire will be issued a pair of glasses along with their security pass and everything they see and do and say will be recorded on their personal file in the HRMS… good luck with security protocols on that database.

author image
Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

author image
Dave Foxall