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Would You Use A Biometric System to Make Your Purchases?

Many consumers are making transactions today with contactless cards and mobile payments. Quixter, a biometric system developed in Sweden, allows consumers to make purchases quickly by reading vein patterns in their palm. The shopper holds his or her hand over the device after entering the last four digits of a phone number.

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Would You Use a Wearable Baby Monitor?

A new technology from Sproutling, a startup founded by former Apple and Google engineers, is a wearable baby monitor. By strapping the device around an infant's ankle, parents can determine their child's heart rate, movement, and mood. The environmental sensor also measures the humidity, noise levels, and temperature of the baby's room. There are concerns, however, that the device introduces another gadget into the parenting process and keeps caregivers from making first-hand observations.

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Are You Encouraged by Robots' Increasing Role in the Workplace?

A recent Pew Research Center and Elon University report of nearly 1,900 technology experts suggests that the rise of robots in the workplace could bring both disruptions and benefits. As artificial intelligence replace jobs in factories and shop floors, some pros say that the technology will still not advance enough in the next decade to substantially impact the job market. Other optimists say that society will adapt by inventing new types of work, especially jobs that take advantage of uniquely human capabilities. Skeptics, however, imagine a more unfavorable future, one in which robots and "digital agents" displace many jobs, create income inequality, and lead to unemployment and breakdowns in the social order.

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Will Apps Like Timeful Improve Your Time Management Skills?

Timeful, a new iPhone app, syncs traditional time management tools, such as calendars and to-do lists. The app also reveals progress on tasks and illuminates how users are spending their hours at work and at home. The technology calculates how much time one needs to perform specific tasks and can recommend the best times to do them, based on its determination of when the Timeful customer is most productive.

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Will Adaptable Furniture Achieve Mainstream Acceptance?

Roombots self-configurable robotics which can merge with materials to create adaptable furniture for the home and office. The lab will initially use the intelligent furniture to assist the elderly and those with reduced mobility. The team then plans to improve the human-robot interactions by embedding cameras or voice recognition technology, allowing tracking of users and the ability to "instruct" the assembling of one's own furniture.

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Are Driverless Car Concerns Overblown?

According to a newly released FBI report, the driverless cars of the future could aid criminals by introducing the potential for “multitasking.” The report also said that the cars themselves could be turned into “lethal weapons” by evildoers. The report, however, also stated that the autonomous cars could allow authorities to respond more effectively to incidents.

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Will The Popularity Of Drones Carry Major Risks?

New York City police have reported a growing number of incidents involving wayward drones. A crew member of an NYPD helicopter, for example, recently had to change its course after spotting a flying object headed in its direction. Some police are concerned that the increasing popularity of drones in such a tightly packed city could carry significant risks, even becoming a potential tool for terrorists to conduct surveillance or carry out attacks. Drone buffs, however, say the doomsday scenarios are far-fetched, and that most pilots use the drones to take aerial photos.

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