Motorola predicts passwords could be replaced by arm tattoos and “authentication pills”

Motorola has revealed plans for hi-tech authentication systems that could make accessing data faster and easier – including a “tattoo” with embedded sensors and antenna, and an “authentication pill” which turns the human body into a giant authentication token. Both are designed to replace current systems such as typing in four-digit codes on screen on smartphones.

Regina Dugan, who leads special projects for the Google-owned company, showed off a tattoo, made by company MC10, on her own arm at D11, the All Things Digital conference. Motorola said it planned to work with the company on authentication systems for future smartphones, according to AllThingsD. Dugan previously worked for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

“Authentication is so annoying that only about half the people do it,” says Dugan. “Despite the fact that it is a lot of data on your smartphone that makes you far more prone to identity theft. We are thinking about a whole variety of things to make that better. “

Dugan also showed off a pill – reportedly already certified by the FDA –  which is powered by a chemical reaction with stomach acid, and produces a machine-readable 18-bit signal which can be used for authentication.

“I take a vitamin every day, why can’t I take a vitamin authentication every day?” asked Dugan.”Your entire body becomes an authentication token. It becomes your first superpower. When I touch my phone, my computer, my door, my car I am authenticated.” Slate magazine’s video shows off the size of the pill.

“This isn’t stuff that is going to ship anytime soon, but we have demoed it working. We are trying to think big again,” said Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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