A scientist, Shyam Gollakota is an assistant professor who leads the Networks and Mobile Systems Lab at the University of Washington at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. He is also and adjunct professor of electrical engineering. Gollakota has discovered a way to transmit a password to a smart device, say, a door lock, without using hacker-prone Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The human body was the perfect solution in solving the perplexing problem of how to circumvent insecure avenues in technology. He found that a relatively low frequency signal can be sent from a smartphone’s fingerprint sensor via the body to the object that needed to be unlocked. How does it work? A signal is generated by the fingerprint sensor on a smartphone. The signal is transmitted via a small electric current across the body, with no known health impacts. When the signal reaches a sensor on a terminus, such as a doorknob, the object is unlocked. Exciting, but what happens if the frequency signal being transmitted through the body is transmitted at too high a frequency? Well, then you’d be left with a person who felt like they were being electrocuted or the subject of some sick torture experiment.
What about transmitting signals via cell phones to radio receivers implanted in the body near nerve ending or neural synapses? I do believe the medical community has already devised a few medical devices that work on the basic premise. Should there be ethical consideration to think about when it comes to using these forms of technology? I mean, we have computers that have made our lives so much easier than what life was in the past. People can Skype long distances and transfer funds with one click of a button. Unfortunately, this same technology has opened the door to criminal victimization of innocent people by predators without a conscience. Cell phones make our lives easier as we can travel with the ease and the safety of a constant connection. Except this same technology can send a signal to a bomb and detonate it. Man can be brilliant in his innovations, but man can be over indulgent, unharmonious, with a strong tendency to flirt with his darker side. What if this technology fell into the wrong hands? How would an individual prove that he or she is being tortured with radio frequency? Using radio waves offers a veil of darkness. That is, a cloak of cover. It’s use is not like one-on-one contact. It is indirect physical contact with no body part or even a blunt weapon like a club or a gun in view. Yet it could very easily be used as one. Is man responsible enough to handle these advances in technology without detrimental repercussions? Suddenly getting back at your enemy, or neighbor with limited or no consequences, has taken on a whole new way of gaming. Want to play a game? Remember War Games?