The Dark Future of Tech: Apple Syncs iPhone Security to Your Heart

by Matt Klassen on May 12, 2010

Imagine a future where your mobile device recognizes you by your simple touch, programmed to respond to your unique physiology alone. In this future, technology will have advanced to the point where devices like this are seamlessly integrated into our lives, combining, in unprecedented fashion, the physical and virtual worlds…and now imagine these devices taking over the world and enslaving the human race.

While hopefully we’re a ways off from such a Matrix-like fate, news from the US patent office recently revealed that Apple has filed for a patent covering an advanced and innovative device recognition method; a cardiac monitoring system built in to the iPhone that is programmed to read people’s unique heart rhythms through their fingers to determine if they are the registered user of the phone or someone else. Although this tech is still at the patent stage, the thought of a phone tapping into our biorhythms is enough to make anyone’s heart skip a beat…damn, now my phone doesn’t work.

For the average user this means that the days of low-tech security options like fingerprint scanners or encrypted passwords are most likely entering into the twilight of their existence, meaning that with the impending patent approval for Apple’s new biometric security feature for the iPhone, the cardiac monitor will usher in a new wave of advanced security features that tap into our individualized physiologies. I just wonder how long it will be until a device can read my DNA code?

While this isn’t the first time a company has tried to incorporate biometric security measures into a mobile device, none of the previous attempts met with any real success, as such measures often interfered with the user interface experience.

With Apple, however, you are pretty much guaranteed that the company will look closely at seamlessly integrating this technology into the phone itself, meaning that like most useful security measures, if its successful, you probably won’t even know it’s there. Admittedly, this tech is only at the patent stage though,  a sign that Apple may just be covering its bases when it comes to the future of mobile innovation, but for me it points to the disconcerting future of mobile tech.

Although most of you probably don’t have the same recurring dark cyberpunk dream that I do, which sees tech advancements such as this leading us closer and closer to a cybernetic age where devices become increasingly integrated into our very beings, eventually leading us to forget what makes us human, perhaps this new feature will give you reason to pause and think about the effects of unfettered technological advancement. Do we really need a device that taps into our heart rhythms? Probably not, but the question of what we need has never really been popular in the tech world anyways.

But with my paranoid dystopian visions aside, if Apple can actually create a personalized security system that seamlessly reads a user’s heart rate and rhythm through their hand, it will certainly be a biometric feature that the tech-loving public will flock too. Just pray, however, that you never have a serious heart attack and need to call for help.

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