The daily smart pill that can remember all your passwords: Tablets can transmit personal details to devices as they pass through body
- Electronic devices can read a unique signal coming from a chip in the pill
- Sensor works from inside the stomach and is powered by the stomach's acid
- Controversial technology developed by California-based Proteus Digital Health
- Pill has been approved by European and American food and drug regulators
23 June 2013
No need to remember: The revolutionary pill contains a chip that could end the need for passwords and paper forms of ID
For forgetful types, it promises to be a new wonder pill.
But far from boosting the memory, the tiny swallowable capsules contain a minute chip that transmits an individual’s personal details.
Electronic devices will be able to read the unique signal, ending the need for passwords and paper forms of ID, such as passports - and freeing users from such mundane tasks as recalling countless codes and security answers.
Already approved by the both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulators, the ingestible sensor is powered by a battery using the acid in the wearer’s stomach.
Each pill is designed to move through the body at the normal process of digestion, and according to engineers working on the device, it can be taken every day for up to a month.
Based on a technology developed by California-based Proteus Digital Health, it contains a computer chip and a switch, which is activated when it comes in contact with acid in the user’s body.
It then sends a tiny signal that can be read by mobile devices and allows them to verify the identity of an individual.
The controversial pill is being championed by Motorola executive, Regina Dugan, once dubbed ‘America’s smartest engineer’.
‘Essentially, your entire body becomes your authentication token,’ she said.
She was the first female director of the US government’s spy technology agency Darpa (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) before joining Google’s Motorola Mobility division last year.
Speaking at a conference last month, she said: ‘Authentication is irritating. In fact it’s so irritating only about half the people do it.
‘Despite the fact there is a lot of information about you on your smartphone, which makes you far more prone to identity theft.
‘After 40 years of advances in computation, we’re still authenticating the same way we did years ago - passwords. In fact it’s worse, the average users does it 39 times a day and it takes them 2.3 seconds every time they do it.
Controversial: The new technology has been created by Proteus Digital Health who are planning to create electronic tattoos that can hold personal data
‘Power users will do it up to 100 times a day. So what are we doing about it? Well [Motorola] is thinking of a whole variety of options for how to do better at authentication such as near-term things including tokens or fobs that have NFC or bluetooth.
‘But you can also think about a means of authentication you can wear on your skin every day, say an electronic tattoo or a vitamin pill.’
The company is also exploring the use electronic tattoos that contain personal verification data.