Communication · Computer Security

Wearable computing


Ongoing with my “Future Technology” series.  

Most people seem to be in awe of “wearable computiers”.  Simply put, computers are no longer bound to a mainframe, a desktop, a laptop, a notebook, a tablet or smaller computer – they are and will be wearable.  We’ve seen versions in TV, in the movies, in science fiction pieces and now they are reality.  What we have today is Google Glass, cell phones in a watch, behind/in ear, on forearm, on harnesses, flip down, in contact lenses.  More on a few of these later, in another blog.  Much more.

Also related are rollable computers, which are mostly dependent on flexible electronics.  This is an emerging technology, we’re starting to see these circuits now.

But as all emerging technology seems to do, security is an afterthought.  Not only the security of the device itself, but to a facility security program for those people wearing a computerized device.  You know, like the humble thumb drive, which can be brought in almost everywhere.

•Security challenge: cheating in schools, at the DMV, espionage, insiders threat, etc.  Currently teachers have problems with students with an increased interest in their laps, using smart phones and texting to cheat.   Cheat sheets are now electronic, I was one of the first to try this with a programmable calculator back in the late 70s.  I had one formula I just couldn’t remember…   Now one can look up almost anthing.  Question, are students still required to memorize anything?
•Flexible electronics: in our clothing, on skin, moveable.  If you’ve seen “Total Recall“, the 2012 version with Kate Beckinsale (I have no clue the rest of the cast, she was my main interest). They had implanted devices, most notably a cell phone in their palm.  We’ve already seen flexible screens, devices which can be mounted on one’s forearm and other moveable, wearable devices – the sky is the limit.  You’re only limited by your imagination.  …and believe me, the bad guys will have more imagination than most security bubbas.  Here’s my piece of advice for today: if anyone can see anything in your facility just by walking around, your competition will know the specs and have pictures.
There are more examples of ‘wearable’ computers around.  Combining wearable computers with ubiquitous surveillance devices and one will have the ability to physcially infiltrate any facility, knowing exactly where facility security can see you and where they cannot.  You’ll also know where thermal/IR, UV, motion detectors and all other physcial security sensors are located.
Wearable computers.  These are just examples of increased security challenges, both coming and going, in our effort to make computers more available, useable and user friendly.