Swallow a Pill to Turn Your Body into a Living Password

Jonathon Markowski
November 26th 2013

More and more pieces of our daily lives are becoming password-protected. In a 2007 study, Microsoft found the average person to have 6.5 unique passwords, while by 2011, Skrill found this number to be over 10. Meanwhile, human short-term memory is only designed to remember seven unconnected pieces of information, and this number is not going up. In the face of increasingly complex rules for creating impenetrable passwords, some platforms have switched to identification via fingerprints or other intrinsic information. However, even fingerprints can be stolen. So what if your body was the password?

Regina Dugan is a former head of DARPA who now heads advanced research at Motorola. In a recent interview, she talked about some new technologies that they have been working on, including a "password pill." The essential components of the pill are a small electronic chip with a switch and a battery circuit. Once swallowed, the acids in your stomach complete the circuit to power the switch, and the pill then emits a unique electronic signature that can be recognized by other devices such as your smartphone. While admittedly not headed for production anytime soon, the password pill not only works but it is actually FDA-approved for consumption. Is this the future of electronic security?

Read more about this invention via Doug Aamoth at Time Tech. Photo via I Download Blog.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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