"My voice gives me access to proceed, please verify me," I announced to the phone in my hand. It scanned my face to see if my lips were moving. I then read aloud series of numbers. The voiceprint was a match, and the app unlocked itself - the demonstration was a success.
In celebrating our technological advancements, it is important to remember that none of these innovations happened by chance. They are the product of an enormous amount of investment in research and development -- much of it seeded by the federal government.
Seemingly taking its cue from science fiction, technology has moved so fast in the short time since Minority Report premiered in 2002 that what once seemed futuristic no longer occupies the realm of science fiction.
Every new technology can be used for good or ill. Such is the case with the newly developing field of behavioral biometrics, a technology that's not the same as the physiological "biometrics" many of us know well. The chart below differentiates the two categories.
Wearable technology is getting a lot of attention these days and for good reason. These devices are becoming increasingly more integrated into our daily lives and are providing new insights into our personal activity and fitness levels.
What remains to be seen is whether, when all is said and done, the powers-that-be succeed in distracting us from the fact that the government's unauthorized and unwarranted surveillance powers go far beyond anything thus far debated by Congress or the courts.
Don't look to this first wave of wearables for much that changes how journalists do their jobs gathering news. Coming next, however, are things such as a wrist-launched personal drone and jersey-mounted sports cameras that could open up whole new editorial approaches.
On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.
Many have compared those "moderate Syrian rebels" the U.S. keeps looking for to unicorns. The U.S. now thinks it has a new set of tools to scare the unicorns out of hiding, and to tell the nasty terrorists from the good terrorists: psychological evaluations, biometric checks and stress tests.
The campaign to stop cyber-crime begins with educating the next wave of professionals, but ongoing education and idea exchange are the ultimate keys to confronting cybercrime on the ground and in the boardroom.
The recent data compromises at Kmart and JPMorgan are in no way similar, except they share a common enemy. And while free retina scanners are probably a stretch, biometrics -- the use of your biological data like fingerprints -- may well be the next "less hackable" thing.
I haven't been to Disney since the 1980s, and while I was expecting lines and crowds, what awaited us was an unsettling, dystopian security aspect that could have been out of a William Gibson or Bruce Sterling novel.
In this environment, enter universities that are designing degrees, creating knowledge, framing debates, and developing solutions about pressing issues (before, during, and after they become problems). Take cyber security.