Perhaps later than some would have expected, but half of consumers reckon by 2025 they will be paying for goods and services using a thumb print.
A sizeable survey of 4,100 Brits also found that two-thirds believe voice-activated facilities, such as doors, lights and other electronic devices, will also be commonplace.
To many tech folk, such predictions are perhaps rather on the conservative side, especially given how quickly technology such as the web and mobile phones (especially the the recent emergence and development of the Google Goggles project) have evolved in a relatively short space of time.
Nevertheless, this survey is about measuring public expectations of emerging technology, rather than what will actually be available by 13 years.
So what else are consumers anticipating?
Head-mounted, interactive 3D displays are on the horizon (or in the minds) for a quarter of men – a device not universally liked or anticipated, it would appear, with just 11% of women in the survey responding positively.
Paying by handshake is also expected to be a commonplace piece of technology in daily lives of consumers by 2025.
Data can be transmitted electrically through the skin at a rate of 2MB per second – roughly the equivalent to over 100 pages of text. This was achieved in the 1990s.
But, according to the author of the report, Dr Ian Pearson, a so-called futurologist, whilst handshakes are a well-established social ritual, so using them as part of payment transactions would feel very natural, perhaps the idea of payments via fingerprints may not catch on.
This is primarily around securiy concerns, especially as an individual’s prints can be obtained from marks left on glass bottles and other items.
Perhaps one of the more “out there” conclusions from the study is how a combination of computer-generated images could be superimposed onto contact lenses and triggered by body movements.
This mechanism could then allow for gestures to be used for paying for items, Pearson claims, making “shopping more natural”.
This could “destroy many of the boundaries” between web and offline interaction, he claims in the study for the Payments Council.
NB: Fingerprint mobile image via Shutterstock.