Digital Invasion: 3 things we learned from CES 2015

Ever lost a kid somewhere? Not anymore if the gadget vendors have anything to say about it. Now you can digitally strap your kid to your tablet and keep track of them. Kids not running enough to stay trim? There’s an app for that that works the same way. Got high blood sugar? You can keep track of that too using the sensor-du-jour highlighted at CES 2015 in Las Vegas.

The digital invasion comes from the sweeping futuristic paintbrushes of the Mercedes concept car – living space with wheels and accoutrements – to scads of techno-doo-dads, your tech will envelope you if these vendors have anything to say about it.

There, now that they’ve ensconced you in tech – all seamlessly communicating at breakneck speed – there’s three things you must know:

  1. Your attack surface just became you and everyone around you at all times. Bad guys can’t penetrate the digital boundaries? No problem, they’ll just socially engineer a friend who’s tied to your digital persona, and the data trove starts to ooze their way. But how do you know where your new digital perimeter is now? The cloud? The app in your pocket? The third party on the other side of the globe? No worries – until something goes badly, then it gets messy. Might be a good time to batten down the hatches digitally, or at least figure digital hygiene more squarely in your diet. And remember, if you get scammed, it can happen from the strangest angles now, maybe even the kid running (or walking slowly) across your yard. But don’t scream at them, there’s probably an app for that too – so you don’t have to become the crazy old guy telling the kids to get off your grass – yet.
  2. Think of your world from the new point-of-view of you as the center of the universe, with a mobile digital doo-dad as your passport – or at least the one everyone cares about these days. And no wonder, all the important things are contained, curated and meted out to you on a tiny (well, not as tiny lately) phone/tablet/phablet that will do most of the driving. Better start locking it down a bit. You’ll spend your future money, capture a digital dossier of you and your whole family on it, and it will be slurped quietly into the cloud. Look at the spate of SMS phishing – nee SMShing exploits hitting your handsets lately, and know that you’re in the crosshairs. The scammers are counting on you having your digital guard down while using your mobile device, but that’s so last decade, you really need to keep up with the times (there’s a security app for that).
  3. The Mercedes studio/concept car won’t be driving home after the show with anyone, but half of the people swarming at the booth sure wish it could. I mean, it doesn’t really carve out a realistic place in your garage right now, all adorned with slippery shiny blue lights and sleek surfaces (and then there’s the white leather and swivel captain’s chair with shoulder belts tacked on), but many show-goers stare longingly at it, and try to memorialize it in digital 4K brilliance. Did we mention 4K? If you haven’t already gotten one, lots of manufacturers are pretty sure you will, you just don’t know it yet.

Picture Credits: ©Keoni Cabral/Flickr

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