No fumbling, just tap, say Moto X tattoo all-stars (w/ Video)

July 24, 2014 by Nancy Owano report

Go ahead with yourselves, U.S. Moto X fan base. Motorola announced Tuesday that owners in the U.S. can buy packs of disposable digital tattoos that will allow them to unlock their phone without any further typing ado. The tattoos have gone on sale in the U.S., and Moto X users are able to buy a pack of 10 of these digital tattoos for $9.99 on the site.

The announcement in the Motorola blog said a should be as unique as the owner, not only in the phone's form and functions but in the way the phone is used. "Last year at the All Things D "D11" conference, Regina Dugan talked about new digital technology that would make it easier to unlock your phone," said the blog. "Now the moment is here: We're excited to see this new technology brought to life for Moto X by Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group and VivaLnk Inc."

In a video published Tuesday, a pitch was made as to why the tattoos can make a difference. "In the last 40 years, we have not changed how we unlock our devices, even though usage has significantly increased," said Deepak Chandra, project leader at Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. An average user unlocks the phone 39 times a day and it takes them 2.3 seconds every time they do so. Unlocking the phone has become a task so cumbersome, he said, that over 50 percent of users do not lock their phones, exposing their personal data. ATAP worked with VivaLnk to come up with another solution, and the Digital Tattoo is the result. A ten-pack is available for purchase at $9.99 from

A tattoo from VivaLnk, said Junfeng Mei, the company's vice president of technology, lasts for five days. This is an ultra-thin comfortable tattoo, he said. "No fumbling, no typing, just tap."

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The electronics, in an ultra-thin and flexible material, communicate with a user's smartphone wirelessly. The site noted the manufacture of these tattoos involves "top-of-the-line medical grade adhesives from 3M." The site also noted that the product went through extensive biocompatibility testing. Nonetheless, you can take the tattoo off any time you want. To remove the tattoo, you simply peel it off your skin like you would peel off a bandage. "You can also disable Digital Tattoos completely by going to Security > Screen lock and choosing a different way to authenticate," said the site.

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not rated yet Jul 24, 2014
As neat as RFID technologies go, this just seems like an excessive fad. Sure, it's nice not needing to swipe in, or poke a password to unlock your phone, but I think biometrics would be much more capable than this security set up. A fingerprint scanner would allow you to unlock the phone with a single swipe for instance, while maintaining a decent level of security.

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