In one of the more bizarre and possibly innovative solutions to the replacement of the password, Motorola has proposed an electronic tattoo fixed to the user’s skin as a means of authentication.
A Telegraph report reveals that the “biostamps” are being manufactured by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10. The tattoos contain flexible electronic circuits that can be adhered to the user’s skin via a rubber stamp.
While the concept seems a tall order for public, this is not the first time that the tattoo concept has been explored.
In March, Nokia proposed a similar solution, however in that case the tattoo was inserted beneath the skin, meaning users needed to undergo a minor surgical procedure prior to using the tech. Nokia also played with the idea of a topical, stamp-like solution but stated at the time that such a method would be less resistant to daily wear and tear.
Nokia’s under-skin tattoo would vibrate for incoming calls and when the user’s device battery low, and by scratching their arm, the user could dismiss the alerts.
The biostamps that Motorola is experimenting with were initially designed for use in the medical field, but the mobile giant is hopeful that the stamps could be used in the consumer sector as well.
To accompany the tattoo idea, Motorola is also exploring a more invasive method using the Proteus Digital Health pill. Already approved by both the US Food and Drug Administration and European regulatory bodies in 2010, the pill contains a battery-powered chip that works by using the customer’s stomach acid.
As with other biometric modalities on the market, the ingestible pill leverages the unique ECG signal that traced by devices outside the body. It is this unique signal that could be used to verify a user’s identity.
Motorola officials admit that such a solution will not be available to the public for some time, but that authentication using the tattoos has been tested with mobile phones and it works.