New Motorola Vitamin Pills Could Be Edible Stomach-Acid-Powered Passwords


Serendipity by Jean Jullien


Taking a daily vitamin could do more than give you an extra kick of vitamin D or C in the morning. Soon, it could also boost your online security, becoming an authentication token you could never lose.

At the D11 conference in California today, Motorola unveiled a “vitamin authentication” tablet powered by the acid in your stomach that turns you into a human authentication token.

Regina Dugan, Motorola’s senior vice president for advanced technology and products and a former director of DARPA, described the little pill as “my first super power,” according to Wired UK.

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

The FDA-approved tablet, made by Proteus Digital Health, contains a small chip that can be switched on an off by your stomach acid, creating an 18-bit ECG-like signal that would let you authenticate your identity just by touching your phone, your computer or your car.

Motorola has successfully completed a demo of the tablet authenticating a phone, but CEO Dennis Woodside said it wouldn’t be shipping anytime soon.

Smart pills have previously been developed as a way to transmit health information straight from your body to your doctor, and to remind patients with chronic diseases to take their medication . And now maybe they can make not getting hacked a little more convenient, too.



Enhanced by Zemanta
  • PeaceLovePie

    This is part of DARPA pushing end to privacy. Swallow a nano pill, RFID type? I don’t know anyone asking for this but for the NSA (and their front Google) who want a total end to privacy.

    Say no to evils like this.

  • CosmicAmazing

    I love how they always spin this scary-ass-orwellian-type technology as a good thing. Let’s never entertain ideas regarding the negatives. Could they be any more partisan?

    • Anarchy Pony

      That’s the way techno-topians always operate. There are either no risks, or the negative is either not serious or not likely, and in the remote chance they are likely, some other magical “innovation” will save us..

      • InfvoCuernos

        Its job security for mad scientists. If there aren’t any problems, then we’ll make some, and then we can solve them!

  • echar

    This is like the smart locks and well smart things I keep seeing pop up. Like PeaceLovePie said, who needs this stuff?

    • Rev. Anonymous Squash

      – we may need them ourselves just to keep up with our perhaps less scrupulous neighbors who will have no such misgivings about modifying themselves for “urban planning”, or
      Convenience, Continued employment, financial service….Millions of people cut into themselves just for aesthetics to increase breasts and decrease waistlines, already…

      • echar

        I can see how they can streamline things, but what what happens when we grow complacent and allow the technology to do the menial and or heavy lifting?

        Also the vulnerability of smart objects. It creates an opening for the tech savvy to manipulate or spy.

  • BuzzCoastin

    hmmm, I’ve had access to a lot of Motorola prototypes in the last few years
    but not this one
    and the one common denominator I’ve found is
    their software tends to suck big time
    mostly because of incomplete code filled with bugs
    so it’s likely Woodside is correct
    it won’t be shipping anytime soon
    but it did get an almost defunct company some press

  • Ittabena

    Don’t worry, this won’t work. All our stomach acid has been weakened by HFCS and then more so by the Acid Reflux medication that does nothing but mask the pain and perpetuate the problem.

    “When Corporations Collide”

  • The Well Dressed Man

    I think this concept is cute. Swallowing an rfid pill is creepy, but much less so than the biometrics that are shaping up to be the future of authentication.