I participated on the Futures panel at the NDIA Biometric Conference in Washington DC on Thursday. The topic of my spiel “Mobility Rules“. Though I always strive to interject original, if not somewhat provocative, perspective (especially when crystal ball gazing), I was quite surprised, and pleasantly at that, at how enthusiastically this perspective was received. Particularly as I was at an event targeting the defense arena.
The key points of the presentation were: 1)Not to sound like a commercial for Apple …. but “the iPhone changes everything”, and 2) This game changing mobility is driving a convergence of the commercial and public sectors. Granted this is a bit simplified – have a look at the slide deck for the rest – but I am happy to report that one individual, now active in the vendor community who previously served 2 tours in Iraq, approached me with a list of comments and ideas for a white paper to address how indeed this level of OTS mobility could and should impact field operations. I had of course, in many respects, been speaking from an ivory tower, as we analysts do. Yet here was an individual with in-theatre expertise highly motivated to refine my initial thoughts. Guess I might be on to something.
I was followed on the panel by my friend and colleague, the ever insightful Peter O’Neil of findBiometrics, who shared some interesting self reported qualitative data gathered from biometric industry leaders over the past several years. Mobility was high on this list of significant market developments and opportunities as well. So data and anecdotal validation from one panel. A very good day!
One other thought that occurred to me while i was answering a question form the audience – defending my iPhone fetish – and really resonated in a profound way as the words spilled out of my mouth; Over the years, Apple has consistently provided break-through game changing user interface technology. If any company is in a position to figure out how to make biometrics really usable for human beings, it seems to me it must be Apple. Rumor has it the iPhoen 5 will include NFC … perhaps biometrics will make it as well.