Motorola’s tattoos and pills could replace passwords

Motorola’s forthcoming phones could use electronic tattoos or pills to identify users, it has been announced.

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The technology, which aims to remove the need to enter passwords and replace them simply with a phone being close to a user’s body was announced by Motorola Mobility’s head of advanced technology and projects group, Regina Dugan during the All Things Digital conference in California on Thursday – and while it’s still in the gestation phase, so to speak, it could point to the future.

The pill in question is no ordinary tablet – it contains a tiny chip but no battery – instead it gets its power from the acids in your stomach.

The Proteus Digital Health pill, reffered to as the ‘authentication vitamin; by Motorola, has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and was given European regulatory approval in 2010.

The pill creates a unique signal like an ECG trace that can be picked up by devices outside the body and which could be used to verify a user’s identity. It will send out an 18-bit authentication signal, which your device will pick up and use in lieu of a password. It can be taken daily for up to a month, it has been claimed.

The tattoos on the other hand have been developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, and contain flexible electronic circuits like the pill, that are attached to the wearer’s skin using a rubber stamp and sends out a signal that your smartphone or tablet will pick up..

In the future, both the pill and tattoo could serve other purposes – such as opening your front door or starting your car.

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