The guys over at Popular Science have been getting all paranoid with the crystal ball, as they peer into the near(ish) future of personal security. Covering everything from dangerous behaviour in playgrounds and public places using smart-CCTV that can identify abnormal or atypical actions, through ways to prevent stolen cars being broken down for parts, all the way to identifying which cow was the source of the steak you're eating, it's by turns reassuring and frightening.
A school in Kentucky is already trialling the smart-camera system, where sixteen eagle-eyed lenses monitor the area for suspicious parked cars, people attempting to climb over the fences or anyone trying to access the building at odd times. The principal can monitor footage in real-time on his handheld, while that same footage can be streamed to a local police patrol should they be needed.
A little less obvious, but perhaps with far greater impact, is the effect of quantum theory on cryptography. Based on the fact that any observation of minute entities such as photons or electrons also has the effect of altering them, a message encoded with a quantum key would easily flag up whether it had been tampered with or not. Apparently we can expect this technology to filter down into the consumer market within the next ten years.
The Future of Personal Security [Popular Science]