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Motorola Presents Authentication by Tattoo and Pill

Motorola presented two new electronic authentication prototypes, a tattoo and an FDA-approved pill, that make the human body transmit passwords to smart devices in an attempt to mark the beginning of a new wearable and edible technology.

At the D11 conference, Regina Dudan, advanced research head for Motorola, said people need to transcend the login technology that has been used for more than 40 years and suggested that an authentication tattoo and a swallowable pill could fundamentally transform people’s interaction with their devices.

“It means my arms are like wires, my hands are like alligator clips, and when I touch my phone, my computer, my door, my car, I’m authenticated in,” Dudan said. See the full D11 interview here.

The tattoo is a stick-on circuit consisting of a wireless power coil, phone censors, temperature, ECG, LED and a wireless antenna border, sprayed with a plastic complex that can make it last on the arm as long as two weeks in the conditions of typical daily routines.

The second authentication prototype is the swallowable pill or the “inside-out potato battery”. The pill has a small chip inside of it with a switch. The acids in the stomach act as an electrolyte that makes the switch turn on and off, resulting in an “18-bit ECG-like signal” that turn the entire body into an authentication token.

Motorola desires to fundamentally change and simplify the authentication process given the ever growing number of devices people interact with and the multitude of accounts users need to log into in a single day.

This new technology will not ship out any time soon, said Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, because the company is “taking a long-game approach to the evolving mobile market is going to be key to reviving the company.”

About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.


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