/// AT&T Aims to Avoid Opening Can of Worms as It Opens Up Its Network
The windowless building in Lower Manhattan may not indicate it, but AT&T Labs is trying to be more open. Using an area normally home to its network security team, Ma Bell had a science fair of sorts on Thursday, showing off a number of the technologies that it has been cooking up in its labs. Many of the projects on display take advantage of different pieces of network data that AT&T now makes available to developers. The various projects and booths paint an interesting future where doors can be opened by voice, a chip in the phone or even the electrical signals that travel through our hands, to name just a few of the gee-whiz technologies on display. But whether this future is bright or grim depends a bit on how one feels about being tracked. Cellphones are indeed powerful devices these days — portable computers that know who we are, where we are, and how we pay for things. Many of the projects on display Thursday aim to combine that knowledge in useful ways. One application, for example would allow parents to keep tabs on their kids while they are driving — getting alerts if they text and drive or neglect to wear their seatbelts. Another project nearby shows something akin to Caller ID on steroids. Today’s Caller ID shares only one’s phone number, but AT&T has the potential to share a lot more. One demo imagined what it would be like to share location and all manner of other information with a person are dialing. Such uses could make it easy when one is ordering a pizza.
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