My previous articles on the IT future in terms of face recognition technology leverage the idea of a surveillance culture, which George Orwell put into frame with his famous novel 1984; the ‘telescreen’ watches while being watched. (You can find connections to big data storage, real-time computing, law enforement mining, and encryption in those posts.)


On Super Bowl Sunday in 1984, Apple ran an ad to let us know that its MacIntosh personal computer would do away with the oppressive monologue of television. The Mac would revolutionize communications by giving individuals new information ordering powers.


29 years later—if current buzz proves correct, and as Google readies the first version of Glass—Apple is on the verge of releasing its first wearable computing device, iWatch.


In this next few articles in the series I’ll explore the counter-surveillance aspects of wearable computers and the impact they are likely to make on the current IT trend known as BYOD.


Monitoring Wearable Devices

Big buzz wearable computing products may not come in 2013 but they are coming soon. And when they do, walking into a building that fails to seamlessly grant a wearable device’s request for an IP address will quickly come to seem like walking into a building that makes your watch stop telling you the correct time. The power of new user expectations will drive an IT infrastructure expansion; and so wearable and ubiquitous computing are likely to evolve together.


Increases of network scale make the ability to triage problems depend more urgently on knowing what device is causing an issue. And proactively correlating devices with assigned IP addresses becomes the key with devices causing trouble from the edge of the network.


A reasonable BYOD policy would be to get the MAC address on devices brought to work. As a means of policy enforcement, you could then use a product like SolarWinds IPAM to white-list known MAC addresses and setup an alert on any unknown MAC address to which your DHCP server assigns an IP address. If that policy seems too onerous, you could instead use SolarWinds User Device Tracker to match users on the network with the device they're using to gain access.


Both tools would help eliminate blind spots that delay resolving network problems when they occur.