Setting up a password or PIN number is one of the simplest things you can do to protect your smartphone—and all the data inside it. But, according to a Consumer Reports survey , only 36 percent of phone owners actually bother.
Motorola thinks that’s because entering a PIN, which is pretty darn easy to do, just isn’t easy enough. In a blog post announcing their new digital tattoo phone-unlocking system, the company claims that it takes 2.3 seconds to enter a PIN, something the average user does 39 times each day.
Moto X owners can now unlock their handsets by just tapping them against a self-adhesive digital tattoo, which the company partnered withthe California company VivaLnk to launch.
The digital tattoos ($10 for a pack of 10) are about the size of a nickel and contain a near field communication (NFC) chip. NFC is a wireless transmission standard that allows small packets of information—an identification code, in this case—to pass between devices over short distances using very little power.
In demos, Motorola shows the tattoo, which has a subtle swirled design, on the inside of the user’s wrist. The stickers adhere directly to a user’s skin with a medical-grade 3M adhesive. Each sticker will stay put for up to five days and can survive showering, swimming, even diving. VivaLnk spokesperson Jason Li says it shouldn’t irritate the skin. “Once it’s on there, after 15 to 30 minutes, you don’t even feel the difference,” he says.
Linking a digital tattoo to a phone is fairly simple. Once the Moto X’s internal NFC radio detects a new tattoo, it initiates a quick setup. Users repeat this process every time they change their tattoo.
The idea of adhering electronic stickers onto the body isn’t necessarily new. Last spring, for instance, University of Illinois researchers developed a prototype that could monitor body temperature, moisture and strain for health purposes. A more-outlandish system intends to use tattoos as a means to communicate signals from the brain to control drones. But, VivaLnk claims to be […]