Social Commentary

Skin-Deep Publishing

OBS intern Oliver notes that: “In the near future, custom publishing may run only skin-deep.  In light of Apple’s recent introduction of Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner to the iPhone 5S, it could soon become possible to receive any amount of pre-packaged, personalized information everywhere you go at no more than the push of a button. How people see, manage, and publish content could be revolutionized as one’s entire history is transformed into nothing but a complex array of numbers.

There are a multitude of potential privacy and security issues, true – but the societal potential is staggering. With such analytical biometric technology, the textbooks of the future could evolve to a student’s needs, cataloging everything from past scores on exams, how many hours of class time they had, and even how much sleep they got the night before! Developments in biomimetic technology could not only allow a number of classroom functions to be tailored to each student, but could drastically change the admissions process as well. Each year, universities and students spend millions of dollars on a hit-or-miss process.“

Oliver is a student “at the zenith of [his] my high school career,” who is at once stimulated by and wary of the rapid merging of man and machine evidenced by Apple’s new fingerprint interface.

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