Name Stone Helps You Greet Coworkers

When starting a new job, learning coworkers names can be a daunting task. Getting this right is key to forming strong professional relationships. [Ahad] noted that [Marcos] was struggling with this, so built the Name Stone to help.

The Name Stone consists of some powerful hardware, wrapped up in a 3D printed case reminiscent of the Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Strange. Inside, there’s a Jetson Nano – an excellent platform for any project built around machine learning tasks. This is combined with a microphone and camera to collect data from the environment.

[Ahad] then went about training neural networks to help with basic identification tasks. Video was taken of the coworkers, then the frames used to train a convolutional neural network using PyTorch. Similarly, a series of audio clips were used to again train a network to identify individuals through the sound of their voice, using MFCC techniques. Upon activating the stone, the device will capture an image or a short sound clip, and process the data to identify the target coworker and remind [Marcos] of their name.

It’s a project that could be quite useful, given to new employees to help them transition into the new workplace. Of course, pervasive facial recognition technology does have some drawbacks. Video after the break.

17 thoughts on “Name Stone Helps You Greet Coworkers

  1. Not just new employees. I have been at the same place for 15 years and still forget the names of my co-workers. Though it is now rare for me to forget the names of any of the four I share a cubicle with.
    (I once managed to forget my own name, I am that bad at names)

    1. I thought i was the only one. It sure felt that way at my office. It’s not that i don’t want to remember their names, it’s just that i have a tough time matching faces and names/other characteristics.

      Show me a car, though, and i will instantly memorize make, model and roughly the model year. Sigh.

  2. Maybe I’m strange but I don’t care about my coworkers, neither do I socialize with them in any way. In fact I treat them like NPCs that just exist to serve some defined purpose. Beyond “hi” and “bye” any interactions are strictly work related. Also, we use Skype to communicate inside the office, it has that “rename contact” function so I’ve renamed everyone on my contacts list with numbers 00-87 (currently) just not to see their names everyday.

    I know this might sound like I’m some kind of a psycho but hey, at least it keep any work related stuff from seeping into my family life whom I love dearly.

  3. Very clever and impressive accuracy and speed, but unfortunately a bit too big to be subtle! If it could be built into a phone app, that’d be neat, you can always pretend you were checking a text. As it stands it’s pretty much the badge of I-can’t-remember-names shame.

    Also, not sure the voice interface is ideal. Words like ‘activate’ and ‘change’ come up fairly frequently in office conversations. Might be better to have it come on whenever it hears speech, but show names on a display on the top? That’d be really helpful on conference calls when the other end is all round one phone.

  4. Ok couldn’t the same be done via an app on his phone? Sniff the bluetooth and or wifi and use the mac details to bring up the right address book contact.. Done.

    That or just look up the pics from the company’s intranet site and pin up a few (with names) on your partition wall or cheat sheet.

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