Consider these two bits of technology news in light of one another:
A new digital camera capable of taking images with resolutions equivalent to 50,000 megapixels has been unveiled in America.Electrical engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have created the prototype machine, which can capture data in up to a staggering 50 gigapixels, offering images of "unprecedented detail".The camera's resolution is said to be "five times better than 20/20 human vision over a 120 degree horizontal field".Current top end consumer cameras are only capable of taking photographs of around 40 megapixels, whereas the prototype device can capture up to 50,000 megapixels of data.
Forget the key card to your office building? Just wave your hand at the door, and you're in. "You don't have to stop at a station. Nobody checks your ID. You just walk through," explains Clemson-educated physicist Joel Burcham of his new Huntsville company called IDair.IDair makes a machine that Burcham says can photographically capture a fingerprint from as far away as six meters in enough detail to match against a database. Add facial and iris-recognition technology, Burcham said, and you have the basis for a good biometrics system that can control access to any building or room within a building.
The development of advanced cameras (thanks to DARPA) and no-touch fingerprint biometric capture tools raises a number of troubling questions about the future of anonymity in public, a space that is rapidly contracting before our very eyes.
Read more about the increasingly inescapable biometrics matrix.