Thanks to the Internet, we now do everything, ranging from shopping to banking and even watching movies, electronically - While this has made life a lot easier, it has also resulted in the creation of numerous password combinations that have to be kept track of. Now thanks to Regina Dugan, Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology and Projects at Motorola, there may be an unusual solution - A daily pill!
The researcher, who prior to joining Motorola was the first female director of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) said that she embarked on this innovative idea because she wanted to fix “the mechanical mismatch between humans and electronics”. And while it may sound like a futuristic dream, Dugan has already figured it all out and even has prototype that she debuted at Wall Street Journal's prestigious, All Things Digital Conference that took place in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California, at the end of May.
Working in partnership with a company called Proteus Digital Health that already has clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for an ingestible sensor, albeit for use as a medical device, she created a tiny pill that embeds a small chip with a switch. When swallowed, the acids in the stomach serve as electrolytes and help power the chip - This in turn, prompts the switch to turn on and off intermittently and send 18-bit ECG-like signals through the entire body. The result? the arms act like wires and fingers, like alligator clip electrical connectors.
Hence, as soon as the person that ingested the pill touches any of his/her personal electronic device or even car or house door, it automatically authenticates him/her and allows complete access - As Dugan succinctly puts it - They gain their first superpower! What is not clear however, is what would happen if someone else gets hold of the pill and decides to swallow it!
Little queasy about swallowing an electronic pill? Not a problem. Dugan may soon have another alternative - A temporary sticker tattoo that Motorola is developing with MC10, a company that specializes in 'stretchable circuits'. Simply stick it on your arm and you are ready to access anything your own.
Which one would you prefer? Taking a (hopefully) yummy password pill or slapping on an electrical circuit tattoo onto your arm? Be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.