Monday, January 10, 2011

Two new trends to keep an eye on in 2011 and beyond: 3D printing and Mobile Security

3D printing and mobile security are two big trends to watch.

The next big thing will be 3D printing. It's a hobbyist field right now, with rudimentary designs and machines, but it's going to get better. What happens when you can replicate any physical thing? That part that broke on your dishwasher, your bike, or that toy--you will just make (or buy from some third-party) a replacement. You won't buy the part from the manufacturer (even if you could). Those cheap things that break and then you throw out? Why would you if it could be easily fixed for next to nothing from a machine you had under your desk?
The best approach to this emerging market is to keep it open, free from patents and IP, and let it flourish. Many organizations and business interests will attempt to get a stranglehold on the emerging field, and it's important not to let that happen, lest they stifle the innovation an open field offers. The Internet would absolutely not be what it was if large corporations controlled it.
Dan's Data has an interesting post about the future of 3D printing.

Mobile Security needs to be addressed. We sat with cellular phones in a controlled world with little to worry about, as the oligarchy of carriers strongly restricted what could be run on their phones and networks. That worked at the cost of innovation. The new world of open platforms on the smartphone now means maliciousness is around the corner if the native OS isn't correctly applying security features like sandboxing. We need phones; we use them all the time, all day, and we need to be able to summon people in emergencies. We can't let them break because of bad security. We need to be able to prevent mass Denial-Of-Service, worm outbreaks, malicious breaking of phone security, and surveillance on these devices. And it's not just having the carrier control the phone; mobile security is also about You having control and not letting Them (whether they are a cracker or a malicious app or the Carrier) reading your data.

(While mobile security needs to be addressed as an emerging issue, that in no way reduces the disaster of the current free-for-all in web plug-in security holes).

UPDATE: for instance this finding of SMS messages that can kill nearly any phone.

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