Design Thinking

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*This post was updated October 21, 2016*

Your ears are the next frontier of biometric security

Biometric security—using characteristics of our bodies to verify who we are—is becoming commonplace. Most of us are comfortable scanning our fingerprints to unlock our phones or gain access to an office, and companies like Facebook and MasterCard are scanning our faces for security. What’s next?

Apparently, our ears.

Japanese company NEC has developed technology that measures the reflection of sound waves when they bounce off the tympanic membrane. Since everyone’s ear cavity is unique, like a fingerprint, how the waves bounce will also be unique. The process—which only takes a second—has an accuracy rate “greater than 99%,” according to an announcement from NEC earlier this month.

The technology requires special headphones with microphones built into the earpiece, since it needs to both transmit and receive sound. NEC, which expects to commercialize the technology in 2018, plans to use it to combat identity fraud, secure phone calls and messaging, and bolster voice detection services. qz.com

Law enforcement increasing use of facial recognition

  1. Cops Have a Database of 117M Faces. You’re Probably in It technology www.wired.com
  2. THE FBI’S USE of facial recognition technology is exploding, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office — and its growth is largely unchecked, unaudited, and possibly flawed. theintercept.com

Feds Walk Into A Building, Demand Everyone’s Fingerprints To Open Phones www.forbes.com

Civil liberties groups ask for ‘moratoriums’ on face recognition tech techcrunch.com

For Your Eyes Only “Tech companies like Snapchat and Skype’s owner Microsoft are failing to adopt basic privacy protections on their instant messaging services, putting users’ human rights at risk, Amnesty International said today. ” – www.amnestyusa.org

The more power technology has over us, the less control we have over ourselves www.1843magazine.com

Leveraging the thousands or millions of insecure devices in the so-called Internet of Things to launch cyberattacks motherboard.vice.com

AI Can Recognize Your Face Even If You’re Pixelated www.wired.com

Today’s Brutal DDoS Attack Is the Beginning of a Bleak Future Details of how the attack happened remain vague, but one thing seems certain. Our internet is frightfully fragile in the face of increasingly sophisticated hacks. gizmodo.com

Taking center stage:

Technology for the tympanic membrane isn’t mainstream yet. My worry with this technology is privacy, hacking and personal data.  The tympanic membrane is essentially how we hear or receive sound; one of three parts of the ear to transfer sound waves from the environment to our limbic and central nervous system.  Brain and spinal cord.

“Feds Walk Into A Building, Demand Everyone’s Fingerprints To Open Phones www.forbes.com

Now imagine if we had the technology, but instead of the Feds demanding fingerprints they demand you put on headphones.

 

Overview Nervous System, Brain, MIT Biology:

https://biology.mit.edu/sites/default/files/Brain%20Anatomy%20OverviewRev.pdf

Emotional Circuits In The Brain:

https://faculty.washington.edu

Technology to watch:

Halo Sport – The Halo Sport Neuropriming Headset uses pulses of energy to improve your training. Called neuropriming, it lets your motor cortex send stronger, more easily read signals to your muscles, so more fibers are activated with each rep, and strength is gained faster. Used in conjunction with specially designed workouts, it can also help with the learning and sharpening of skills like swings, kicks, and throws. It connects to your phone wirelessly, and also works as a pair of Bluetooth headphones, so you don’t need to take them off once the priming is done and training begins. http://uncrate.com/stuff/halo-sport-neuropriming-headset/

The Golden State Warriors didn’t refuse. The team wore Halo Sport in training last season. NFL hopefuls used it as they trained for a regional scouting combine. Olympians are putting it on as they prepare for Rio. For the U.S., hurdler Michael Tinsley is using Halo Sport, as are relay sprinters Mike Rodgers and Natasha Hastings. Mikel Thomas, a hurdler competing for Trinidad and Tobago, is also training with the device. theringer.com

Here One Doppler Labs And The Quest To Build A Computer For Your Ears. Leveraging everything from advanced hardware engineering to AI, this startup wants to give you control over your world’s sounds. www.fastcoexist.com

Here One earbuds combine augmented hearing with wireless earbuds www.theverge.com

Japanese company NEC has developed technology that measures the reflection of sound waves when they bounce off the tympanic membrane. Since everyone’s ear cavity is unique, like a fingerprint, how the waves bounce will also be unique. The process—which only takes a second—has an accuracy rate “greater than 99%,” according to an announcement from NEC earlier this month.

The technology requires special headphones with microphones built into the earpiece, since it needs to both transmit and receive sound. NEC, which expects to commercialize the technology in 2018, plans to use it to combat identity fraud, secure phone calls and messaging, and bolster voice detection services. qz.com

Shifting Baseline Syndrome

The phrase describes an incremental lowering of standards that results with each new generation lacking knowledge of the historical, and presumably more natural, condition of the environment.  Therefore, each generation defines what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ according to current conditions and their personal experiences.  With each new generation, the expectations of various ecological conditions shifts.  The result is that our standards are lowered almost imperceptibly. remotefootprints.org/take-action/issues

Congrats, you made it to the bottom of the page.

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I left this post sloppy intentionally. The thing about shifting baseline syndrome is that you don’t notice it because your in it. ( I noticed a few days ago friends on Facebook have an ah-ha moment about their privacy settings OMG! OMG! Don’t put your address, phone number, where your kids go to school! People can stalk and find you! . .  . Temped to write something l refrained. I wanted to see how the rest of the group responded and what their knowledge of privacy was. Do they know Facebook uses their postings, post responses, photos and ad clicks?

I’m not a guru on privacy but it is interesting to watch what’s old news to me become novel to someone else. “just realized my infant will never know what life was like before talking to computers was normal.” – Rachel Metz )

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