This year, technology seems to be pushing the limits like we’ve never seen before. We’re contemplating the reach of Artificial Intelligence, fighting off cyber-criminals, and diving deeper into big data privacy concerns. With Halloween just around the corner, what spooky, creepy, or trickstery technologies are popping up? We’ve compiled our top 5.
Just as we were adjusting to the thought of possible drones flying overhead, Amazon releases their newest initiative – a camera that gives Amazon Delivery Drivers access to your home. With safety measures in place – verifying the delivery driver, delivery time, and address before unlocking your door – it still leaves room for things to go wrong. Do you want strangers in your home? How extensive is their background check process? Packages might not risk ruin by the natural elements or the risk of theft but is it worth it?
The “Eye in the Sky”
Ross McNutt, a retired Air Force veteran, brought back a technology he created for war and is trying to utilize it domestically. He uses a 44-megapixel camera affixed it to a small plane to take one picture per second of a region or portion of a large city. By doing this, crimes reported can be stopped in real time. How? His company is able to find the reported location of the crime, work backward and forward from the time of the report to discover where the criminals came from and where they went after which allows them to recover stolen items, locate a shooter, or even find a kidnapped victim. While a kidnapped child can be found in minutes, your privacy could be compromised in a big way. What happens to all the data gathered and how easily can it be manipulated and abused in the future?
Pearl ID (Facial Recognition)
iPhone X is changing the game, taking your phone security to the next step with facial recognition. But, wait…are they really? What happens if hackers steal your information? “You can change a password, but you can’t change your face” – well not as easily anyway. What else will this data be used for in the future? Do you really want your phone to be on all the time? What happens if someone is able to pull your image from the internet to hack your phone? Or even worse, take a photo of you from a crowd to find out who you are? While this technology seems cool and futuristic, it lends itself to extreme vulnerabilities compromising your data and potentially, your privacy.
Amazon Alexa (Voice Recognition)
Loose lips sink ships, right? Maybe this bit of advice should be shared once more. Amazon is expanding their Alexa technology creating Spots, Fire TV, Echo Dots, Echo speakers, Echo Plus (a smart home hub), light bulbs, and more. These technologies are invading our homes and cars, constantly listening to your family and surrounding you with Technology. Currently, this technology is fairly controllable and customizable. But what are the risks? Has our legislation, regulations, and society caught up with the rules and requirements for companies and what they can do with our information? It might make life a little easier but there are many unexplored security risks in terms of your data and privacy – giving a whole new meaning to home invasion.
Ever thought, “if only I had another thumb to help me out?” This trickstery device ups your motor control by adding an additional thumb to one of your hands. While it doesn’t lend a hand to help, it does lend a finger which can be just what you need when you’re trying to carry something, are working on projects, or playing an instrument. I see some great potential for this device too, from helping persons with disabilities to advancing prosthetic technology. Even better, Third Thumb is looking to “challenge the perception of prosthetics,” framing a more positive body image. What puts the third thumb on our list is the implications of how far is too far. Have you seen Ghost in the Shell?
While some find these technologies cool, others are definitely put off by the potential implications. Do the upsides of these technologies outweigh the downsides? Are these a trick or a treat? Should we be spooked or is this overconcern for the future? The choice is up to you.