Motorola is researching a new type of password: a pill that you swallow

Motorola Pill

We use passwords for everything, and it’s for good reason too. Security and privacy are very important to maintain. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a hassle unlocking your phone with a pattern or passcode every time you want to use it. In fact, most people opt to avoid implementing some kind of passcode on their device just so they won’t have to enter it every time they pick up their phone or tablet. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary inconvenience especially if you want to protect your data and sensitive information.

If Motorola has their way, we won’t need passwords or passcodes anymore. Instead, the authentication process will be handled by our bodies.

Motorola Executive Regina Dugan proposed two unique alternatives to passwords at the D11 conference. She suggested that users swallow an authentication pill, or even wear temporary authentication tattoos on their body.

“Authentication is irritating. So irritating that only about half the people do it even though there’s a lot of information about you on your smart phone.”

Authentication Tattoo Motorola

The pills are actually “vitamin authentication” capsules which include an electronic chip inside. After swallowing one of the devices, your stomach acid acts as the power source while your body acts as the transmitter for the electronic signals. Since the human body can conduct electricity, authentication could be setup in a way that you just have to touch the related device to unlock it.

Ingestible devices have already been FDA approved, and a company called Proteus Digital Health uses the technology for medical related activities.

Dugan also showed off a temporary tattoo at the conference which she wore on her arm. It works in the same way as the ingestible pill, with the exception that it’s on the outside of your body.

While compatible software and hardware for computers and mobile devices has yet to be implemented, it definitely shows that Motorola has some great ideas to solve the issues with authentication. As with most anything these days, convenience is the real issue here.

If technology like this did exist, would you be willing to swallow an authentication pill every day so that you could use your device? Adversely, would you be willing to wear temporary tattoos for the same purpose? It was mentioned that the ingested devices would be passed out the same way as all other waste, through the digestive system.

At the very least, I think they are some pretty cool ideas and I can’t wait to see how Motorola expands upon them.

[via Mashable, All Things D]

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2 comments

  1. Col. Panek

    I used to scoff at using a CAC card when I worked for the USAF, but it’s better than a lot of alternatives. The pill solution, though, sounds like “caca”, which it of course is turned into in a day’s time. And what if a hacker fishes it out of my septic tank?