What If Your Physical Body Was Your Password?

Proposed at this week's D11 conference: A chip in the form of a daily pill that, when swallowed, turns a person's body into an authentication token. Also offered: An electronic tattoo worn for a week at a time.

What If Your Physical Body Was Your Password?

What's the Latest Development?

At this week's 11th All Things Digital conference -- also known as D11 -- Motorola Mobility executive and former DARPA head Regina Dugan presented two unconventional solutions to the problem of remembering passwords. The first was an electronic tattoo, containing an antenna and sensors, that authenticates devices when held up to them. The second was a pill containing an electronic chip that, once ingested, would send out an 18-bit signal from within the user's body, such that only a touch would be needed in order to get into a locked phone or laptop.

What's the Big Idea?

Wearable technology is growing by leaps and bounds, and the tech for both of the concepts presented by Dugan already exists to some extent. The tattoo was built using material developed in John A. Rogers' flexible electronics lab at the University of Illinois, and ingestible sensors are already FDA-approved for medical use. While Dugan likened taking the pill to gaining a super power -- "My hands are like wires, my arms are like alligator clips" -- All Things Digital's Walt Mossberg nervously mentioned Motorola's parent company when handling the pill: "Does Google now know everything I do and everywhere I go?"

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at TechHive

U.S. Navy controls inventions that claim to change "fabric of reality"

Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.

U.S. Navy ships

Credit: Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
  • Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
  • While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
Keep reading Show less

Modern society is as unequal as 14th century Europe

As bad as this sounds, a new essay suggests that we live in a surprisingly egalitarian age.

"Philosophy Presenting the Seven Liberal Arts to Boethius"

Getty Open Content
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new essay depicts 700 years of economic inequality in Europe.
  • The only stretch of time more egalitarian than today was the period between 1350 to approximately the year 1700.
  • Data suggest that, without intervention, inequality does not decrease on its own.
Keep reading Show less

You are suffering from “tab overload”

Our love-hate relationship with browser tabs drives all of us crazy. There is a solution.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Technology & Innovation
  • A new study suggests that tabs can cause people to be flustered as they try to keep track of every website.
  • The reason is that tabs are unable to properly organize information.
  • The researchers are plugging a browser extension that aims to fix the problem.
Keep reading Show less
Personal Growth

Epicurus and the atheist's guide to happiness

Seek pleasure and avoid pain. Why make it more complicated?