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Google's Regina Dugan Demos Electronic Tattoos & Ingestible Passwords

Stashed in: Risk!, Valuation

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“We got to do a lot of epic shit when I was at DARPA,” Dugan said on-stage at D11. But the stuff she is working on at Motorola is pretty cool (and totally creepy!) too:

  • An electronic tattoo that can be used to authenticate a user instead of some flimsy password. It’s made by a company called MC10 that Motorola is partnering with, and Dugan is wearing it on her own arm.
  • Another option in a similar vein: vitamin authentication. Dugan shows a pill that can be ingested, and then battery-powered with stomach acid to produce an 18-bit internal signal. After that, the swallower’s whole body becomes a password.

“This isn’t stuff that is going to ship any time soon. But it is a sign of the new boldness inside Motorola,” explained Dugan’s boss, Motorola head Dennis Woodside. And Dugan and Woodside assure that all this is entirely optional; Google is not going to be force-feeding us pills.

“If you want to ensure failure in your innovation, try removing the risks,” Dugan said. “Boredom is the enemy of innovation.”

Boredom may be the enemy, but it is not the opposite of risk.

Fear of risk is the enemy, boredom is the outcome.

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