Is Wearable Tech the Future of the Workplace?: Humanyze and Investment Decisions

by on Sep 19, 2016


When it comes to making decisions, human beings aren’t always rational. Choices are driven by a mix of intuition, biology and past experiences rather than solid reasoning. Humanyze, a unique firm created in the MIT Media Lab, developed a system that collects employee behavioral data to help link human behavior and physiological data to business performance. The startup released a highly visual and interactive article to promote its bio sensing work badges and provide insight into the technology behind the wearable gadget.


Human Body and Brain Sensors

Behavioral economics assesses how regions of the brain impact decision-making. Our ability to make rational and logical decisions is controlled by the prefrontal cortex, while emotions control the limbic part of our brain. The choices that traders and investors make during pivotal moments can have considerable consequences. If a trader makes the right bet, testosterone rises, prompting more aggressive and riskier behavior. Conversely, stress hormones can prompt the trader to make less risky choices or take no action, based on a gut feeling rather than on logic. Pessimism and fear during a recession can drive down investment during lucrative times.


Humanyze Wearable Tech

Biometrics can easily trigger the biological responses to overconfidence, aggression and investment anxiety. Humanyze equips its work badges with microphones and positioning technology that capture a person’s speech pattern and stressors. The gadget analyzes data on how employees talk to customers, who talks to whom in the company, the popular times of day when people email, talk on the phone or go on break. The wearable tech gathers data on how people communicate with each other, and then the software can correlate the behaviors with key performance indicators to see what the top performer is doing differently from the rest of the pack. Forty types of data are collected, and the information is uploaded to the cloud, where it’s presented on a dashboard to the client. The company ensures privacy by not providing individual data to companies and not recording content.


Humanyze Manager Dashboard

Bank of America successfully implemented the system in its call center to try and boost performance and lower employee turnover rate. By looking at metrics, the bank was able to figure out the key metrics that affected turnovers. Similarly, Deloitte used the Humanyze system to analyze how the geographic distribution of its workforce—on a city-wide or even floor-by-floor level—affected collaborative behaviors. The rise of wearable technology could lead to the future of high-performance workplace strategies.