For many of us, our smartphones are an integral part of our being, containing not just everything we need to communicate but depths of personal information, from our daily schedules to our finances. While last summer the Supreme Court ruled cell phone information is private and therefore protected, that's irrelevant to anyone trying to steal the sensitive bits stored on one. As Rose Eveleth reports for BBC Future, Seth Wahle, an engineer and biohacker, demonstrated that it's possible to steal information off of a phone with a microchip embedded in his hand.
Secretly, a lot of drones are cell phone parts disguised as flying machines. Advances in cellular technology, like miniaturized powerful batteries, cheaper smaller cameras, and sensors like accelerometers have all found their way from our pockets to the skies. Now, a new drone eye wants to shed cell parts like a vestigial tail, and instead make drones fly on sight alone.
Fumbling for a cell phone that rang during a meeting can be pretty embarrassing, and tapping out an email on a smartwatch is always a frustrating experience. To make mobile devices even simpler to control, a team of German and American computer scientists has created a patch called the iSkin that turns your epidermis into a digital interface. Just place the patch on your preferred body part, and with a few simple taps, you can answer calls, raise or lower music volume, or type on a bigger smartwatch keyboard without having to grope for the phone in your pocket or bag.
This morning the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a unanimous 9-0 decision on Riley v. California that police cannot, with few exceptions, search a cell phone without a warrant to do so. The whole opinion is structured as a critique of warrantless data collection, based on norms that precede cell phones, and much of the case delves into just how different 16 gigabytes of information on a phone is from pictures in a wallet or a handwritten book of phone numbers.