Emerging and future technologies that we will have to worry about from a security perspective.
patricia mwai 28th July 2015

 

Technology is perhaps the greatest agent of change in the modern world. While never without risk, technological breakthroughs promise innovative solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time. From zero-emission cars fueled by hydrogen to computer chips modeled on the human brain, this year’s 9 emerging technologies offer a vivid glimpse of the power of innovation to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard our planet.

The emerging technologies are:

 

Cloud computing.

Cloud computing is defined as a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications . In cloud computing, the word cloud  is used as a metaphor for “the Internet,” so the phrase cloud computing means “a type of Internet-based computing,” where different services  such as servers, storage and applications are delivered to an organization’s computers and devices through the Internet.

Brain-computer interfaces:

Brain–computer interfaces are technologies used to directly connect external computer devices to the human brain. These devices allow individuals to interact with computers by thought. These technologies are currently used in medicine to compensate, assist, or increase and motor functions of individuals with physical or psychological disabilities. These previously costly technologies that were restricted to the world of research are appearing in consumer electronics and will gradually replace the keyboard and mouse as humans’ preferred ways to interact with machines. Significant advances have been made in this field.

Next-generation robotics

With advances in robotics technology now making human-machine collaboration an everyday reality, the new age of robotics is taking these machines away from the big manufacturing assembly lines, and into a wide variety of tasks including farming and nursing. While is true that robots are ideal for tasks that are too repetitive or dangerous for humans to undertake, it is also true that robots can also work 24 hours a day at a lower cost than human workers. As such there remains the risk that robots may displace human workers from their jobs. This may not be a big deal in Western societies where unemployment rates are low and the social welfare system is robust enough to help people cope.

Body-adapted wearable electronics:

These virtually invisible devices include ear buds that monitor heart rate, sensors worn under clothes to track posture, a temporary tattoo that tracks health vitals and hap tic shoe soles that communicate GPS directions through vibration alerts felt by the feet. The applications are many and varied. Hap tic shoes are currently proposed for helping blind people navigate, while Google Glass has already been worn by oncologists to assist in surgery via medical records and other visual information accessed by voice commands.

Screen less display:

A 3D image projected into space can convey information that a 2D image presented on a screen cannot, and is close to becoming a practical reality.

RNA-based therapeutics:

RNA, like DNA, plays a part in protein synthesis and, to a lesser extent, the transmission of genetic information. Scientific advances are combining to enable a new generation of targeted, RNA-based drugs that could help find new treatments for cancer and infectious diseases.

Quantum computing

This branch of computer science is still at a very developing stage of development but nevertheless suggests revolutionary applications in terms of calculating power and therefore security. Quantum computing uses the laws of quantum mechanics to process large volumes of information much more efficiently than traditional computing. Very specialized quantum cryptography solutions are already on the market, and some large organizations such as IBM, HP, Microsoft, Google, NASA, and Lockheed Martin, as well as startups such as D-Wave Systems in British Columbia, are investing large sums in quantum computing to accelerate the development of machines for practical applications.

 Militarization of the Internet

In the past few years, military doctrine has changed to make control of the Internet not only an internal security issue but also a national security issue, with a sharp increase in the resources devoted to the development of offensive and defensive capabilities. At least 33 states have explicitly acknowledged developing offensive and defensive operational capabilities in cyberspace.