During a question and answer period at the Canadian Telecom Summit yesterday, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's CEO Mike Lazaridis explained his ten year vision for the smartphone, which he described as becoming a "wireless wallet." Lazaridis explained that part of the reason that RIM bought security company Certicom was to secure these future "wireless wallets" that will hold our medical records, banking information and other sensitive data.
"One of the reasons that we acquired Certicom, who we've been working with for over 15 years, is to embed that kind of security in our devices to make sure that things like wireless banking becomes a reality, and to make sure that we have the rights to these security models that you feel comfortable keeping medical information on them, or your license on these devices, your passport on these devices, or your credit card on these devices, or your bank access on these devices," Lazaridis told attendees at the summit. "You can see that's where people are starting to see where this is going. But it's going to require a lot of innovation, a lot of discipline to make sure these platforms, networks and server technologies can provide the reliability and more importantly the security to be able to offer those services to the general public."
RIM's acquisition of Certicom gained the company's shareholders' approval in March, but not before a few rough patches: RIM's original bid was unsolicited -- Certicom had a court in Canada block it -- Certicom then accepted an acquisition bid from VeriSign -- RIM then outbid VeriSign. In the process the pricetag for Certicom increased markedly, of course.
Securing the wireless wallet looks to be a top priority for RIM/BlackBerry, and medical records seem to lead the list of reasons why.
For more, see this blog post from MobileSyrup.
If you want to hear Lazaridis at the summit for yourself, check out the very rough (out of focus even) video shot from the event to hear the full response.