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Published On: Mon, Jun 24th, 2013

Motorola announces password tattoo or ‘small capsule’ for Google authentication

Motorola has announced big plans for replacing your online and device passwords that include taking a pill every morning and wearing a tattoo on your arm.

The two experimental prototypes were showcased during the D11 technology conference by Motorola’s head of advanced technology and projects group, Regina Dugan.

Both concepts are meant as alternatives to using passwords, passcodes, picture passwords, and two-factor authentication as a means to access your smartphone, tablet, car, and even your front door.

The first project Dugan displayed was a simple electronic tattoo manufactured by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company MC10.

The small electronic tattoo uses material developed by a University of Illinois research team led by Dr. John A. Rogers. (see photo below)

The material can stretch up to 200 percent larger than its original size and features an antenna and a handful of sensors to authenticate with your devices.

“It may be true that ten to twenty year-olds don’t want to wear a watch on their wrist,” Dugan said, taking an obvious dig at the recent rumors surrounding an Apple smart watch. “But you can be sure that they’ll be far more interested in wearing an electronic tattoo, if only to piss off their parents.”

For those who prefer not to have a visible password tattoo, Motorola also plans to develop a form of “vitamin authentication.” Users would take a daily pill, activated by stomach acid, that would send out a 18-bit, ECG-like signal, Dugan said.

“Essentially, your entire body becomes your authentication token,” Dugan explained.

Dugan said the small capsule was developed for medical applications and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said the product has been tested, and has successfully authenticated a smartphone. However, Woodside added, the device isn’t going to ship anytime soon.

While the discussion moderator questioned whether Google, which owns Motorola, will know everything a user is doing, Dugan noted that the company will only know if the pill is turned on or off.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Remember When Motorola Introduced This Password Tattoo? | says:

    […] be true that ten to twenty year-olds don’t want to wear a watch on their wrist,” Dugan said at that time. “But you can be sure that they’ll be far more interested in wearing […]

  2. Mark of the Beast: password tattoos and Google verification - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] be true that ten to twenty year-olds don’t want to wear a watch on their wrist,” Regina Dugan said at the time. “But you can be sure that they’ll be far more interested in wearing an electronic […]

  3. Motorola announces password tattoo or ‘small capsule’ for Google authentication – The Global Dispatch | 1 Smart Phones says:

    […] Continue reading here: Motorola announces password tattoo or ‘small capsule’ for Google authentication – … […]

  4. Biosensor tattoo monitors sweat to gauge physical exertion | International News says:

    […] Motorola announces password tattoo or 'small capsule' for Google authentication The small electronic tattoo uses material developed by a University of Illinois research team led by Dr. John A. Rogers. (see photo below). The material can stretch up to 200 percent larger than its original size and features an antenna and a handful … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

  5. Immigration bill includes amendment to give away free cars, bicycles, scooters … | WordPress.org A semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. says:

    […] […]

  6. Gareth R-J says:

    I find the technology and the concept intriguing if a little creepy. Please read my thoughts and comments on this and some other new mobile technology at my blog at:
    http://garethricejones.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/a-bitter-pill-to-swallow-some-interesting-developments-in-mobile/

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