Phones, Wearables Combine to Assess Worker Performance

Dartmouth University researchers have developed a mobile-sensing system that judges employee performance using smartphones, wearable fitness trackers, and a custom app.

In the new system, a smartphone tracks physical activity, location, phone usage, and ambient light; the fitness tracker monitors heart functions, sleep, stress, and body measurements, including weight and calorie consumption. In addition, location beacons placed in the home and office provide information on time at work, and breaks from the desk. All the data is processed by cloud-based machine learning algorithms trained to classify workers by performance level.

The team tested the system by assessing the performance of supervisors and non-supervisors in different industries, based on self-reported behaviors provided by workers in the study group. Higher performers tend to have lower rates of phone usage, experience longer deep-sleep periods, and are more physically active and mobile.

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