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Panasonic offering laptop webcam service to detect stress of workers

Panasonic Corp.'s service for companies to detect the stress of employees using built-in webcams on laptop computers is seen running in Osaka, on May 28, 2019. (Mainichi/Yuichi Utsunomiya)

OSAKA -- Panasonic Corp. announced here on May 28 it will launch a service from July to help companies detect the stress of their employees, mainly those working remotely using built-in webcams on laptop computers.

"Kimochi (feeling) Scan," the first service of its kind in Japan, was developed for purposes including businesses to manage the health of their employees including those who work remotely from their homes.

A built-in webcam at the top of a laptop will take photos of the face of an employee once special software is installed. A person's pulse is monitored by the changes in their facial color, and autonomic nervous system activity -- which is deeply related to stress -- is measured based on the fluctuation of their heart rate.

Messages such as recommendations for the worker to be diagnosed by specialists are shown on the screen if they have low autonomic nervous system activity. A department head can look at a chart summarizing such activities of their subordinates.

Users need to subscribe to the "Shigoto (work) Compass," a work-style reform assisting service to monitor how long employees are using their laptops, and purchase the newest model of Panasonic's Let's Note laptop.

The expected monthly fee for "Shigoto Compass" is 1,500 yen per individual, and around 1,000 yen for "Kimochi Scan."

(Japanese original by Yuichi Utsunomiya, Osaka Business News Department)

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