Blue Heron in flight

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Brave the new world:

Some interesting news from Motorola. Their newest phone, the Moto X, may be authenticated by some rather bizarre means, a tattoo or an ingestible pill perhaps. This is a technology I thought was quite curious and speaks to some rubicon now being crossed twixt man and machine.

Proteus Digital Health has come up with the new ingestible sensor. You can watch their video here. Proteus Digital Health's 'vitamin authentication pill' is powered by acid in the wearer's stomach and creates an 18-bit signal picked up by mobile phone or other external authentication devices. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and was given European regulatory approval in 2010. Proteus just went on a big funding spree, raising 62 million dollars, much of it from Oracle.

According to Motorola's experts,  the average user authenticates a password 39 times a day at an average time of 2.3 seconds per authentication while power users might authenticate 100 times a day. Merely ingest our sensor and no more troubles...

Motorola is of course owned by the nice folks over at Google, the folks that give me this free blogging platform.

Is it just me or is there something slightly creepy about this idea? Computers are so freaking important to our life experience that we must now become part machine? Has to beg the question of what we are giving up when we allow this sort of intrusion and what the next step might be? Perfect for tracking all the little muggles. Would be interesting to ask Aldous Huxley for his opinion on the whole idea? Last slug on the bottle, you swallow the matrix worm.

The MC10 Biostamp is an electronic tattoo that establishes a circuit that is good for about two weeks. Your own renewable mark of the beast. This whole pursuit comes courtesy of one Motorola executive  Regina Dugan, a former director of advanced projects for the US military over at DARPA. Hello John Poindexter...

Lethal lodger

The men and women who inhabit those tall monoliths in Howard County, the ones that bear no signage or identification, were quite astounded at how readily the citizenry accepted the implant. They were sure that there would be at least a bit of blowback but there was nary a peep.

Wrap the directive in a bible or an American flag or better yet promise them a sleek new smartphone and the muggles were pretty much game for anything we wanted them to try. The glasses were the first step.

Ostensibly the devices were created as some sort of password authentication gimmick, at least that is what Joe Citizen was told. But didn't they realize that the tiny sensor provided real time data information to the master control that could pinpoint where you were, who you interacted with and what you shit out after breakfast?

I don't know whose idea it was to install the kill switch. Initially the thought was to merely immobilize the public but the guys at Darpa figured "in for a dime, in for a dollar" and with a mere swipe at the master control, all sensor laden life forms in a sector would be terminated without prejudice. 

In the few seconds it took the two milligrams of taipan venom to hit the host kidney all data could be synched back to the blade server and the device sensor effectively disabled. There was some discussion about reusing the proteus devices but it was ultimately nixed, the dead deserve a little respect, if you know what I mean, and besides, who wants to get their hands dirty?

© Robert Sommers 2013
(to be continued)

No comments: