Lo-Jack for your kids, and the marvelous manacles of the future

It's the Wherify GPS Locator "FOR CHILDREN", complete with "patented SafetyLock(TM)" for preventing "unwanted removal." Surely they'll bundle a USB demographic verifier "for children" next.

Meanwhile, for adults, your mobile phone will soon be an ID, a radio-entry key, a remote-control, and a credit card, too. That's the plan of NTT Docomo and others.

You won't need a wallet, a keychain, a map, or even a driver's license -- just a regulator-approved do-it-all and see-it-all device. Yesterday's driver's license data stripe will be replaced by tomorrow's active identifier handset. If you can't afford one, technological progress and economies of scale will ensure one can be provided to you, gratis or as part of licensing fees you had to pay anyway.

And we can't have official IDs swappable like baseball cards, can we? So expect a Wherify-like fitting at your local DMV. Miniaturization will ensure it's the least obtrustive and most feature-filled manacle ever developed -- barely the size of bracelet or class graduation ring. That's it -- think of it as trendy jewelry. Everyone who's anyone will be wearing it.

Ken-Ichi Enoki of NTT Docomo predicts of his companies' future offerings, "These handsets will be universal life controllers." As devices and uses converge, it's just not clear who'll be doing the controlling.

[Wherify and USB verifier links discovered via Umair Haque's Bubblegeneration.]