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The Hi-Tech Tattoo That Could Replace All Your Passwords: Motorola Reveals Plans For Ink, and Even Pills, to Identify ­S

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The BioStamp electronic tattoo.

Motorola senior vice president of advanced research Regina Dugan shows off the Biostamp electronic tattoo, which her company thinks can be used for authentication purposes, as an alternative to traditional passwords.

Credit: AllThingsD

Motorola is studying alternatives to conventional passwords in an effort to make logging into online sites or accessing mobile devices more secure. Motorola researchers are focusing on electronic tattoos and authentication pills that users swallow.

The tattoos contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer's skin using a rubber stamp. The tattoos, or Biostamps, were originally designed to help medical teams measure the health of their patients. However, Motorola says the circuits, which contain an antenna and built-in sensors, could be adapted to work with mobile devices. The devices then could be used to confirm the owner's identity and automatically log them into accounts.

Meanwhile, the Proteus Digital Health pill contains a computer chip and a switch. When the pill is swallowed, acid in the user's stomach causes electrolytes to turn the switch on and off. This creates an 18-bit ECG-like signal that can be identified by mobile devices and authentication hardware to verify the user.

Both of the devices are designed to move beyond traditional passwords and toward technology that turns the user into a physical authentication token, says Motorola's Regina Dugan. "After 40 years of advances in computation, we're still authenticating the same way we did years ago--passwords," Dugan notes.

From Daily Mail (United Kingdom)
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