Motorola taps 'digital tattoo' for phone security

The nickel-sized piece of tech adheres to your wrist and enables instant unlocking.

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The nickel-sized sticker with circuitry lets you unlock your phone by touching the handset to it. Motorola

Motorola is offering a unusual approach to unlocking your smartphone: a piece of circuitry that adheres to your wrist.

The so-dubbed "digital tattoo" for the Moto X smartphone was launched Tuesday. It was first mentioned last year at the D: All Things Digital conference and follows up on Motorola's Skip accessory, a wearable clip that allows users to unlock their phones with a single tap.

Motorola claims that people take 2.3 seconds on average to unlock their phones -- an action they do about 39 times a day. Because this process can be cumbersome and tedious, some people just skip locking their devices in the first place. The handset maker is hoping these wearable technologies can offer a more convenient way to unlock, though it's not clear that digital tattoos will become the next big fashion accessory.

The tattoo is actually a thin, nickel-sized sticker with circuitry. You can adhere one to your wrist and unlock your phone by just touching the device to the tattoo. The NFC-enabled technology is available through VivaLnk, with a pack of 10 costing $10. Each lasts for five days and will stay on when showering, swimming, or working out.

About the author

Ben Fox Rubin is a staff writer for CNET, covering component suppliers, mobile and general technology. He previously wrote for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. Ben grew up in Philly, where he developed an affinity for the Eagles and Rocky-style exercise montages.

 

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