Okay, so you spotted the cop with the radar gun, slowed down at last minute, and escaped a speeding ticket. Enjoy! Because the good times are over. Once Baseline Telematics gets into your car, it will be pay-as-you-drive. They’ll supply your insurance company with up to the minute driving data, how fast you go, how hard you brake, how close you take the corners. – And your insurance will bill you accordingly.
Of course progress doesn’t stop there. Next, you have Telematics installed in your body. How’s you ticker? Blood pressure – uh-uh. Cholesterol – those bacon burgers are bleeping! It will be pay-as-you-breathe. All you snowbirds wintering in Florida will have your health insurance adjusted accordingly. And you thought upwardly mobile was a desirable quality.
Doesn’t worry you? You brave the Canadian winters and are covered by Mother OHIP? Don’t hold your breath. And not just because Telematics will report you, but because they will soon be in your house, joining the smoke detector on the ceiling in the corridor and reporting on your lifestyle. You’ll pay-as-you-smoke. Better vote for Justin Trudeau and hope he doesn’t lie when he says he’ll decriminalize marijuana use.
Telematics in the home will be a really useful device for religious leaders. When I lived in Utah, I made the mistake of being visible from the curb on a Sunday morning. Immediately, the church brigade knocked on my door and wanted to know, in the nicest possible way, why I wasn’t at the temple and if I wanted an appointment with the bishop. With Telematics, the Latter Day Saints can dispense with that hit-and-miss approach and get you directly with a pray-as-you-go system. As soon as Telematics detects your presence, a loudspeaker will come on: Attention! Attention! Someone in this household isn’t where they are supposed to be. Proceed to the temple immediately! But then they have very nice hiking trails in Utah, and you could hit one of those on a Sunday morning. The mountains will probably stay Telematics-free for a few more years.
But what if your church or your government or your local retailer latches on to socialbots? According to NYT (18 August), only 35 percent of Twitter users are real people. The rest are members of a bot army directed by people with an agenda, who want to channel your thought in their direction. The only defense is to mobilize your own bot army, appropriate their hashtag, flood them with counter tweets, and stop them cold by triggering their spam filter.
Maybe you could get one of those predictive search apps, which anticipate your every wish. They have your calendar entries, email messages, and Google search history memorized and know that you don’t want to go to the temple. Unfortunately, they also know what you want and will make sure you get it—I just hope they mind your credit limit.