Disruptive Technologies

10/21/2005 12:00 am EST


Ian Wyatt

Publisher & Chief Investment Strategist, Wyatt Investment Research

"Radical technological change is marked in years and decades, not months and quarters," notes Ian Wyatt in Rising Stars. Here, he looks at four "far-reaching, disruptive technologies for the next decade" along with his favorite stocks in each sector.

"Biometrics are measurements of unique physical or biological characteristics that can be electronically stored, including fingerprints, iris scans, and voice and face recognition. Biometrics technology is being used to solve a variety of problems, ranging from a need for heightened security to a desire to cut costs and streamline operations. Our favorite stock in this area is Saflink (SFLK NASDAQ), which makes biometric security and ‘smart card’ systems that verify an individual’s identity without the use of passwords. Through acquisitions and research Saflink has brought together the key technologies in this burgeoning security market.

"The Internet is being used to deliver high definition television to living rooms all over the world as we speak. Our favorite stock in the Internet TV area is Optibase (OBAS NASDAQ). The company equips telecommunications providers with the equipment necessary to offer TVIP to its subscribers. Likely due to its international profile, the company has been successful in selling its products to a very diverse group of clients, ranging from China’s national television network, to urban Dubliners, to rural Virginians.

"Nanotechnology, or the manipulation of matter at the atomic level, has allowed scientists to develop new nano-materials that are smaller, lighter, stronger, and tougher than any materials in the natural world. Our favorite play in this sector is Altair Technologies (
ALTI NASDAQ). The company is focusing on pharmaceutical delivery systems, seeking to improve the way medicines are delivered. In addition, the firm is working on nanomaterials for such applications as longer-lasting car batteries targeted at electric vehicles, and titanium dioxide particles used in paints, coatings, thermal sprays, and water purifiers.

"Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is like a fancy bar code with an embedded microchip that lets users track the whereabouts and status of products. Our favorite in this sector is ID Systems (
IDSY NASDAQ). The company is on the cutting edge of innovation in its field. The company is focused on airport ground security, rental car and package tracking, and vehicle management applications. ID Systems utilizes a combination of RFID technology, local area networks, wide area networks, GPS, and the Internet to enable management to control and track the location, use history, and status of a broad range of objects."

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