New tracking bracelet lets employers keep tabs on remote employees’ moods

While a Fitbit’s great for letting your personal trainer track your progress, a U.K.-company’s new bit of tech can let employers keep tabs on employees’ moods.

As its name suggests, the app-synced Moodbeam One is reminiscent of a mood ring, only it’s a bracelet with two pleasant-looking buttons.  Click one for happy and the other for sad, and that information is sent digitally to a dashboard, where your boss can see at a glance where your head’s at. 

According to the product’s website, the business application allows an employer to “map the happiness across your people and teams, driving positive change and improved well being.” The “happiness score” the devices generate can be monitored throughout the day, as well as over through weeks and months.

Moodbeam co-founder Christina Colmer McHugh tells the BBC that she came up with the idea to keep an eye on the mental temperature of her daughter while she was at school.  But she soon saw the bigger picture, especially during the pandemic. 

“Businesses are trying to get on top of staying connected with staff working from home,” Colmer McHugh says.  “Here they can ask 500 members: ‘You ok?’ without picking up the phone.”

While some privacy advocates bristle at the thought of such a device, Colmer McHugh insists that while the user data can be kept anonymous, “trials found that people do want to be identified.”