The Electronic Tattoo

'Biostamps' made by IC10 feature bendable circuitry that can stretch up to double its original size

Motorola’s tattoos could replace passwords


There’s a new technology on the horizon – a quite interesting one at that. This technology plans to remove the need to require passwords and replace them by simply with a phone being near the user’s body. The idea was suggested by Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s chief executive, at California’s D11 Conference on May 30, 2103. The tattoos were developed by MC10, an engineering firm in based in Massachusetts. The tattoos contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the user’s skin using a rubber stamp. Nokia has previously experimented with this, but Regina Dugan, Motorola’s senior vice president of advance research was a former head of the US Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The agency demonstrated the silicon-based technology that uses the bendable electronic circuits. It was initially designed for medical purposes, but Motorola is hoping for success with these “Biostamps” for consumer authentication purposes. Motorola’s has the notable expert on their team to get the pan implemented quicker than other companies.

Motorola is also investigating the Proteus Digital Health Pill, which is a computer chip that is powered by a battery using the acid in the user’s stomach. This was already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and was given approval by European regulatory in 2010. The pill creates a unique signal that gets picked up by devices outside the body, which could be used to verify a user’s identity. It’s been claimed that the pill can be taken daily for about a month.

Admittedly theses experimental ideas are not going to be on sale anytime soon, but Wooside has claimed Motorola has “tested it authenticating a phone, and it works.”
Former Google employee who now is apart of Motorola said, “Having the boldness to think differently about problems that everybody has everyday is really important for Motorola now. Authentication is irritating. In fact its so irritating only about half the people do it, despite the fact there is a lot of information about you on your smartphone, which makes you far more prone to identity theft.”

Motorola has already begun to enter the smartphone realm by preparing to launch the Moto X Phone in October. It will go on sale for much less than the iPhone and other smartphones in the market now. Motorola is behind but it just can’t simply compete by selling the same phone everybody else is selling at a cheaper price. It needs to exceed expectations and issue a technology that surpasses that of its competitors.

Although many people will be creeped-out by this, I think that it’s not only fascinating but that it can revolutionize the industry. I agree with the former Google employee; it is very irritating to have to log in with a password over 50 times a day. I am in fact so irritated that I do not have a password on my iPhone or iPad. Although some may believe that is a security issue, I make sure I have the devices either near me or in a locked area. The minute I discover my phone is in danger I quickly find a computer and lock it and erase its data. But that’s beside the point; it is a pain to go through authentication constantly. I think the idea needs much work and warming up to, but I think it’s fantastic. We already have very technologically advanced biometric systems in motion, so why don’t we get consumers to start using them to their benefit as well?

How do you think the company Motorola will do? What do think of this idea? Are there safety issues? Would you be willing to try it out?

SOURCE: The Telegraph

10 thoughts on “The Electronic Tattoo

  1. Having an electronic tattoo that recognizes your device is a brilliant idea. I believe that, there will have to be a a huge market survey and tests before the product can be a reality. I do agree with you, that having to type in passwords every time we use our device, we have to type in the password can be a hassle. I never do have a password on my phone because I get irritated to type it in every time. I dont agree with using pills for the tattoo. That needs to change, because I am not a firm believer in using pills. Technology is moving fast, and a company like Motorola needs to come out with an efficient product which has to be cheaper then the market.

  2. I like the idea of the tattoo, the problem I see with pills is that you have to take one everyday so the materials in the pill are probably being wasted after one use. With a tattoo it is permanently on your skin so you don’t have to worry about consuming something everyday to maintain that password, instead you only need it once. I like that it will work with your phone as well to sync passwords between devices. I think it is an innovative technology and later could even lead to transactions being done wirelessly. Imagine walking in to a store and grabbing whatever you needed and then walking out with it, that could be done.

  3. Man, this is so revolutionary and much need for people like myself. I have too many passwords that I tend to forget sometimes. My only concern would be the health risk factor it can possibly propose and the trade off risks associated with it. With the rise in identity theft, hacking into emails, etc. this would definitely stop that significantly. It kind of reminds me of that movie “Hitman” where people had bar codes embedded on their body/head. This will probably be something that will be seen in the near future, sooner than we thought.

  4. I personally think this is taking it to the extreme. By doing this you will make sure that people can never unplug from the technology world. I understand the need to remember numerous passwords can be daunting but there needs to be a different way. There is a complete logistical issue with this as well, every piece of technology would need to have the software/drivers to recognize this. While I say this is taking it to the extreme, I believe there will be a market for it, and it scares me.

  5. I think that this is an interesting idea. This technology could be effective, but I do not think people will go for it. Tattoos are still taboo to a lot of people, and there could be medical issues as well. I understand that this would take a lot of time away, but there could be an alternative. Having a tattoo that stores all of your passwords is kind of scary in a sense because you could accidentally hit something and allow it. Also, there are a lot of jobs out there that prefer employees that have no tattoos.

  6. I love the idea of the “BioStamp” as an identity chip. Not so much the pill, which could easily have long-term health implications. Motorola has been a revolutionary company since its inception and creation of the cell phone. It will continue in testing, but I don’t foresee either of these products coming out in the next 10-15 years. But it is definitely a look into the future.

  7. Motorola is really thinking outside the box and being innovative with the BioStamp as an identity chip for our phones. For someone who is very forgetful and does not like to constantly have my password entered into my phone, this can be helpful. However, I think that having it tattooed onto us is kind of extreme. It makes me think that I am a robot or an item that is getting scanned into a system. I am a human being not a technology. I feel like there might be technical issues with it as well. So when that occurs, what happens then? Are we supposed to get the tattoo removed and replaced with another one?

  8. Implanted password tattoos seem like a bad idea. Why would we want to alter our bodies in a way that has nothing to do with appearance? Why would we allow technology to invade our lives to this degree? I understand that technology has to constantly move forward, but I don’t think this is the answer. I say find a different way to authenticate passwords, or revolutionize the way we do business online. All of that would be easier that having to live with a chip implanted under our skin for the rest of our lives.

  9. Sorry if there’s a misunderstanding here but just letting you guys know it’s a rubber stamp. It’s lke a sticker. The stamp has a strong adhesive with circuits inside. It’s not permanent, but strong. Sorry for the confusion!

  10. This is the first time I have heard of this topic, so I found it extremely interesting. It reminded me of a book I read in high school. I took place in a world where everyone was tattooed with a barcode that held all information about the person in it. It was also a form of payment and background check. Since it was being forced upon people, a lot naturally rebelled. Since this is just a sticker, and is just for passwords, it could actually work if they eliminated the pill.

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