There are certain technologies that are ubiquitous in future stories. Flying cars. Laser guns. And identification technology.
It's hard to imagine fingerprint dusting in the 22nd century. Instead, crime investigations may be "dusting" for DNA. And forget about a mere iris scanner to gain entry to that above top-secret lab. Instead you may have to pass the sniff test.
Good luck trying to fake someone else's scent.
Here are three super cool, super futuristic identification technologies that I read about recently on LiveScience and provide some cool inspiration for futuristic sci-fi stories:
1. BODY ODOR
You read the correctly. Apparently, each person has a unique odor. That's an "of course" to dogs. Companies are working to catch up to dog tech by finding ways to identify our unique smell signature.
But don't worry about having a computer sniff you yet. Although researchers have attained a recognition rate of better than 85%, the technology is still in the research stages.
2. HEART BEATS
While I can see the "sniff test" being used at border crossings and airports, this one seems more like the kind of thing we'll use every day. A Toronto company called Bionym is developing a bracelet called Nymi that uses your heartbeat for digital identification. Each of us has a unique pattern of electrical activity in our heart. Who knew? The bracelet reads ECG (electrocardiogram) waveforms to identify the wearer.
But here's where this one gets super spiffy. The Nymi bracelet can them communicate via Bluetooth to our devices. It seems that the possibilities there are endless. No need for a password or even a finger scan to log in to your computer. Just wear the bracelet and it could seamlessly connect the wearer to their devices. But why stop there? How about your car? A hotel room? Bank deposit box?
And this one isn't just theoretical. You can order this device from Bionym now and it will ship next year.
This one is even more strange than the others. And a bit creepy too. Apparently we not only have unique fingerprints, odors, and heartbeats, we also have unique vein patterns. This sounds like it's straight from a sci-fi movie, but it's actually a technology being branded as BiyoWallet (originally called PulseWallet). Imagine waving your palm over a machine that scans your veins. Once you've introduced yourself to the machine, the device would automatically deduct payment owed to the merchant from your account. Good-bye credit and debit cards. Sounds like one of the more promising technologies to prevent identity theft related to credit/debit card use.
Until some evil genius finds a way to counterfeit our veins! (Just wait - you know it will happen ;-)
Do you think we'll see widespread use of any of these technologies in the near future? Do you embrace these technologies? Or do they scare you? What one would you like to use the most?