3M’s new Mobile ID Reader scans MRZ and RF chip data from passports and visas and immediately checks them against local or international watch lists by using wifi or GSM/GPRS EDGE networks. It seems like a great tool to further make you feel like you’re living in some scary dystopian sci-fi novel, especially when you hear that dastardly monopolist Bill Gates got his little-loved Windows Mobile 6 OS onto the device.
The Mobile ID Reader boasts an 8GB capacity, so when hackers crack the “encrypted formats feature,” they’ll have access to tons of personal and privileged data. Other features include a sunlight-safe touchscreen and a capacitive fingerprint sensor. The device is meant to be used by authorities at event checkpoints, like its first tryout at the Euro Cup 2008 soccer tournament, but it shouldn’t be long before you see it at your local Trader Joe’s, checking up on the hippies. [Wired]