The last couple of weeks members of the IMPRINTS team organized mini-hackJams in Newcastle where young people aged 16 and 17 participated with us and gave us their input about what they see as the future of identity management.
It was very interesting to see some of the solutions these young people proposed for the future of identity management although a recurrent one involved tattoos and implants. It seems that the polemic around human and civil rights regarding tattooing people and injecting them with Nano-chips for identification purposes does not bother the younger generations so far. They would like to see people being tattooed with ‘invisible’ ink holding all their personal details as soon as babies are born, the tattoo can then be ‘brought to life’ and made visible at age 18, when each person can decide if they want to show their tattoo or not and even change the design to a more personal one.
As Digital Natives, all of their designs for the future revolve around the use of technology and digital media, some of the interesting proposals are Digital Shadow Mascots that will follow each person through their life and record everything from experiences to feelings and will have a database of that person’s identity including clinical records, bank details, etc. The Chargeable Jeans is another creative solution, a token used for ID purposes will be kept in the back pocket of a pair of jeans and will be constantly charged by friction as the wearer moves around while wearing the jeans. The token (likely to be a portable glass screen) will display only the relevant ID information depending on the circumstances e.g. buying alcohol, passport details, etc.
The Smart Bracelet/Sleeve is another solution for identity in the future; it will be a retractable sleeve (designs can be chosen form a variety of selling shops), that can be used as a bracelet or full sleeve depending on the amount of information needed. It will allow the user to pay for all kind of travel expenses including international trips where it will also work as a passport. All these while displaying travelling details and updates as well as advertising different items the wearer might like or need for their trip.
It was extremely interesting to hear and visualize what young people think they would like to use for managing their identities in the future. It will be more interesting to compare these visions to the ones shared by other generations through the different activities other members of the team are conducting.
We would like to thank the staff in the VODA programme for all their help and a special thanks to all the young people for their enthusiasm and participation.