Keep Forgetting Your Passwords? Why Not Implant Them In Your Body?

It's a common problem of our age: forgetting your password, clicking reset, then forgetting the password to your email account so that you can't access the password reset link. But the solution being offered by PayPal might be an even less appealing option.

According to The Wall Street Journal, PayPal is currently developing a range of devices that could either be injected, ingested or embedded into our bodies so that we can be identified without the need for traditional passwords.

PayPal's global head of developer evangelism, Jonathan LeBlanc, told the publication that the technology would enable "natural body identification" using bodily functions such as vein recognition, glucose levels and even heartbeats.

While fingerprints and eye scans have been used for some time now, PayPal's vision takes things to the next level - including brain implants, ultra-thin silicon chips that are implanted into our skin, and ingestible devices powered by the acid in our stomachs.

The silicon chips would contain ECG sensors able to monitor the electrical activity of our heart, and transmit this data to "wearable computer tattoos" via wireless antennae.

By supporting passwords with something physical - or 'biometric verification,' as it is referred to - internet users would have tighter security than ever before.

"As long as passwords remain the standard methods for identifying your users on the web, people will still continue to use [...] 'password123' for their secure login, and will continue to be shocked when their accounts become compromised," LeBlanc explained.

PayPal is now said to be in talks with partners to develop vein recognition technology and heartbeat recognition devices, while early prototypes of high-tech ID verification are currently being produced. However, for now it seems that PayPal's statements are just a way to position themselves as thought leaders in the market.

"I can't speculate as to what PayPal will do in the future," said LeBlanc, "but we're looking at new techniques - we do have fingerprint scanning that is being worked on right now - so we're definitely looking at the identity field."

"I ground a lot of my talks in reality, but toward the end of the presentation things get a little strange," he added.

 


The Rise Of The 'Digital Nomads'

With many workers needing little more than a laptop, reliable Wi-Fi and Skype to carry out their daily tasks, there is an increasing trend for working from locations far more exotic than your average office - known as the 'digital nomad' movement.

As a recent Forbes article explains, Gen-Y and future generations are likely to favor travel, adventure and flexibility over material luxuries and possessions; meaning they are able to work from anywhere and for any length of time, before moving onto the next 'workspace'.

Over the past few years, more businesses have come around to the concept of remote working - whether using it as an added benefit for existing employees, or as a way to attract talent from all over the world.

But while not everybody is sold on the ability of digital nomads to get the job done, the growing popularity of this mobile lifestyle means that throughout the world they are documenting and collaborating with one another, with many building start-up companies of their own.

Pieter Levels - founder of Remoteok.io, a comprehensive site for remote-working jobs online, and himself a backpacking entrepreneur - argues that "there's no time to be a conservative entity anymore."

"Software is eating the world," he said, "[and] remote work is just part of this technological wave [...] so if you want to stay relevant that is one of the things it'd be smart to act upon."

Supporters of the movement are adverse to the stereotypical image of the guy sat on the beach with his laptop; and Peiter hopes that rather than it just being Americans and Western Europeans heading to South East Asia, the trend will involve global migration between other regions of the world.

However, there are some factors that could prohibit this; for example, the fact that it's more difficult for workers in Asia to get a remote job than those in Western countries, partly due to their strong family values and traditional company cultures. Despite these setbacks, it will be interesting to see just how widespread the digital nomadic lifestyle becomes.

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The Apps That Could Transform Our Working Lives

Online forum Product Hunt is the go-to destination to find out what technical products and platforms we will see become more popular, with consumers able to rank applications and offer useful feedback on their usability - so, what looks hot for 2016?

As a recent article on NY Mag explains, the Product Hunt community is a valuable resource for brands and developers, providing genuine feedback to help them figure out what consumers want. And so far it's been a fairly good indicator of success, with apps such as Meerkat and Ship Your Enemies Glitter having been a huge success after getting the community's seal of approval.

With this in mind, the article uses the latest Product Hunt votes to see which applications will be the next 'must-have' tech - many of which could have a real impact on the workplace.

Magic

Combining platforms already designed to make our lives easier - such as Uber, Homejoy and Mechanical Turk - Magic is said to be able to meet any user request. The company makes the bold claim of Magic being able to do almost anything, using a combination of humans and machines to act as an on-demand, virtual assistant.

Clara

Similar to Magic but far more stripped back, Clara uses robotic technology to take care of all your scheduling needs - from booking meetings, to noting schedule openings and making cancellations. It's effectively an executive assistant within your smartphone.

Business For Messenger

Although we rarely pick up the phone to call our friends and relatives - relying on messaging, social media and video chat to stay in touch - very little has changed when it comes to customer-to-business communication. With Facebook's innovative Business For Messenger app, businesses and clients can now interact in a familiar, digital context.

Teleport

With remote working becoming increasingly popular, and more people choosing to build their own start-up companies, some entrepreneurs can now choose where they live based on the needs of the actual business, rather than the geographical location of an office. Teleport has been called 'a Tinder for cities,' offering tailored information such as urbanization, costs of living, and how much the area supports small businesses.