Google-owned Motorola reveals stomach acid-powered tablet that turns your body into a password

By End the Lie

(Image credit: screenshot from AllThingsD video)

(Image credit: screenshot from AllThingsD video)

Regina Dugan, former director of the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) and current head of Google-owned Motorola’s research division, introduced a prototype “vitamin authentication” tablet which turns your entire body into a walking authentication token.

“We got to do a lot of epic shit when I was at DARPA,” Dugan said. Indeed, DARPA has been involved in everything from weaponized hallucinations to tiny spy computers to military human enhancements to automated drone-borne targeting and tracking systems to linking rat brains over the internet and much more.

Forget traditional usernames and passwords, this technology unveiled at D11 uses a tiny stomach acid-powered tablet to produce an 18-bit signal which can be detected by outside devices and used for authentication.

Dugan also showed off wearable electronic tattoos produced by a company called MC10, in partnership with Motorola, which serve a similar function.

The rationale behind these technologies, according to Dugan, is the annoyances caused by traditional authentication.

“Authentication is irritating,” Dugan said. “After 40 years of advances in computation, we’re still authenticating basically the same way we did years ago.”

The tablet, made by Proteus Digital Health, has already been approved by the FDA, according to Popular Science.

“The tablets contain a small chip with a switch and something that amounts to an inside-out potato battery,” Wired UK explains. “After swallowing it the acids in your stomach act as electrolytes, which power the battery and turn the switch on and off in a sequence.”

This produces an 18-bit ECG-like signal, turning the entire person into an “authentication token,” which Dugan called “vitamin authentication,” according to the Verge.

“This isn’t stuff that is going to ship anytime soon. But it is a sign of the new boldness inside Motorola,” said Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola.

However, Woodside did successfully complete a demonstration of the tablet authenticating a phone.

“The authentication could be activated by touch, since the human body conducts electricity — touch your phone or laptop and you’re in,” according to Discovery.

“Google won’t be force feeding you these pills like this is some kind of a twisted, science-fiction movie,” Tech2 reports.

Yet the attraction is obvious. If people could protect their computers, phones, homes, businesses, etc. without having to constantly type long, complex passwords it’s not difficult to see them wanting to do so.

That’s especially true when one would only have to take a pill regularly and in doing so would provide an authentication method that is more secure than one could imagine in times past. Wired UK states that the development of this type of technology shows “that hacking is a major concern as we conduct more and more of our business online.”

Given the clear benefits of a technology like this, it’s not hard to see companies requiring their employees to use a tablet like this, especially among companies that are especially concerned about security.

Just as some companies have required fingerprint scanners, iris scanners or other biometric identification methods, it’s not hard to imagine some companies jumping on this “vitamin authentication” technology.

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8 Responses to Google-owned Motorola reveals stomach acid-powered tablet that turns your body into a password

  1. Anonymous June 1, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    people eat the shit of this world, so they will certainly take to this.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous June 3, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    “one would only have to take a pill regularly” what? ONLY?! i’d rather type in a password, thank you very much

    Reply
  3. m_astera June 7, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Anyone who would work for murderous scumbags like DARPA is beneath contempt, and this pill is one bad idea. I won’t piss in a jar for a dollar and I surely wouldn’t take a pill to prove something, not without a gun to my head.

    But she did tell us she is scum with the the first quoted sentence, didn’t she? ““We got to do a lot of epic shit when I was at DARPA,” Dugan said.”

    Foul mouthed piece of trash, pushing trash.

    Reply
  4. Maynard June 15, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Dugan also showed off wearable electronic tattoos produced by a company called MC10, in partnership with Motorola, which serve a similar function

    Sound a little “mark of the beast” to anyone?

    Reply
  5. Anonymous August 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    This is pretty cool stuff! Whats next, some sort of walking credit card authentication?!

    Reply
  6. Ross August 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    This is pretty cool stuff! Whats next, some sort of walking credit card authentication?!

    Reply
  7. Carolyn December 17, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Will give new challenges to hackers: they will have to figure out to slip you a different pill which screws up your stomach acid for the rest of your life — you will never be able to get into any of your stomach acid accounts again.

    Reply
  8. Gerald December 18, 2013 at 6:56 AM

    Let me get this straight. You take a pill and your skin is constantly broadcasting your password to everything you touch. There is no way anyone could hack your password that way.

    Reply

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