Motorola Discusses Authentication Via An Ingestible Pill

1 June 2013

PC Advisor:

Instead of entering passwords and secondary codes from a key fob all day, you could just take a vitamin authentication pill every morning. The pill features a small chip with one switch that uses your stomach acids to activate creating an 18-bit ECG-like signal inside your body. Dugan, who came to Google from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), likened taking the pill to having a super power. “My hands are like wires, my arms are like alligator clips,” Dugan said. “When I touch my phone, my computer, my door, my car, I’m authenticated.” The FDA-approved pill is produced by Proteus and currently used for medical applications such as detecting heart rate, physical activity, and resting state.

Having to swallow a pill every day to authenticate is just as much of a hassle as entering an alphanumeric string into a textbox. To catch on, alternative methods of authentication need to be more convenient than the password.