Sunday, 9 March 2014

Password: I AM

Ramona Leyretana

Password: I AM

            In this day and age where the rapid rate of technological development has gone on to afford us humans the benefits of getting what we want or need instantly, even at times a mere click away, these developments have also brought with them their own sets of problems that haunt us today, case in point: the tales of password related horrors.
            We’ve all been there before. We click the “sign up” button on the page, which then prompts us to another page asking for our personal details (name, e-mail addresses) and finally we are asked to set a password. We then go through great lengths trying to create a password that would meet the required number of character and numbers (changing the letter o to 0 or adding your crush’s last name) and hope that every time we click the “submit”, the password gets accepted. We’ve successfully set the password and go on to use whatever we signed up for but then after some time we find out we’re not logged in anymore. We frantically try to recall the mess that was the improvised password we created. Sometimes we’re lucky and we get in on the first try but most times we’re forced to reset the password go through the whole process of creating another one and hope to a higher being we don’t forget it.  Another tale of password related horrors would be the abundance of identity thieves and scammers on the Internet. Too many have been fooled and taken advantage because of the inherent susceptibility of coded passwords to be decoded. It’s disconcerting that even a child can do it if he had to.
            What if I tell you that these problems are soon to become of the past? What if I tell you that you yourself can be your own password? No more crazy passwords to memorize, you just need your own body and the so-called “Edible Password Pill” (TIME, 2013).
            Developed by Google-owned Motorola research division and introduced last year at Wall Street Journal’s D11 Conference held at Rancho Palos Verdes, California, the “ingestible vitamin prototype-- has the potential to make traditional usernames and passwords obsolete” Regina Dugan, former director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and current senior vice president of Motorola’s cutting-edge special projects team, proclaims. (Gordon, 2013) It’s primary function: to make your body one big authentication passcode.
            The pill contains a tiny chip that is activated by the gastric acids in the stomach once it is swallowed. When activated, the chip emits a specific individual 18-bit signal that would then be detected and identified by external devices i.e. your cellphone, laptop or even your car. You can now unlock these devices just by touching them. Basically you have become your own password as long as the pill is still in your system.
            Although the pill, also co-developed by leading ingestible technology company Proteus Digital Health, has been cleared and approved by the USA Food and Drug Administration as “medically safe” to consume daily for up to 30 days, the “Edible Password Pill” is still not commercially available just yet. (Reuters, 2013)
            Questions as to how much it will cost when it becomes commercially available or the implications of ingesting the pill have arisen but then only time will tell whether this novel invention will be accepted by the public and become the game changer in the field of ingestible technology it hopes to be.

TIME Staff. 2013. The Edible Password Pill. Time Magazine Website. March 3, 2014.

Gordon, Kyana. 2013.  Motorola Debuts Edible Password Pill for Devices. PFSK Website.!y4WyI. March 8, 2014.

2014. Swallow This “Password Pill” To Unlock Your Digital Devices. Reuters Website. March 8, 2014.

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