I understand the importance of checking your attitude at the office door, but a couple of Japanese companies are taking a "mandatory smile" policy to the extreme.
According to the February 2010 issue of Popular Science magazine, 500 or so employees of the Keihin Electric Express Railway in Tokyo lined up in front of a camera to be judged by the company's Omron Smile Scan software. The program measures facial movement and rates smiles from 1-100. Big Brother much?
If that isn't bad enough, a whole slate of behaviour-recognition software will someday pick people out of a crowd for insufficient perkiness. Not sure what happens if your smile has accidentally turned upside down, but I doubt they'd consider a jolt of java an acceptable fix.
Smile Scan did its "creepy evaluative thing" in more than 100 Japanese businesses and organizations, but if you're looking for an example that hits much closer to home, consider this: Last year, Sony applied for a patent on a mood-detecting device for its Playstation 3. I can only imagine the gaming implications that might have.
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