Bio Authentication: If you thought that facial recognition, fingerprint, and iris scanner is future ways of bio authentication. Wait till you hear the details about electronic tattoos. They have been around for a few years now but haven’t found the commercial success that the other forms of verifications have achieved. However, when you read their benefits you’d probably be looking to invest in a stock of these stamps.
Here is a succinct introduction to electronic tattoos.
What is an electronic Tattoo?
E-tattoos, also known as Biostamps, is a bit different than the regular ink tattoos that inject within the skin. This slap-on, lightweight, gossamer and flexible electronic stickers have circuits and thin structures to carry and record information. Normally made of highly stretchable silicon, these stamps applly with a rubber stamp or bandage material. They normally have an electronic circuit and antennae.
“The technique is simple. The tattoos are ultrathin, very stretchable, and inexpensive to produce.”
- Carmel Majidi, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
What is a smart tattoo?
A smart tattoo is simply a small computer built into the stamp. They help authenticate access to tablets and phones. Using these tattoos, one can easily connect with an electronic device. Using lasers they can cut into about any shape to fit in different devices and put on different surfaces.
Is Bio Authentication through e-tattoos secure?
These tattoos create out of necessity due to a lack of security for logging in or getting access. In a way, they are making authentication more secure, so, by default, they are more secure than other methods of verification. They are very effective means of ensuring security, of say, public gatherings or events where only selected people can enter. Also, by storing medical history in these tattoos, they can be highly effective in communicating patient’s medical records with the hospital staff.
Where are electronic tattoos being used?
E-tattoos have not found commercial success yet but they are gradually making their mark. At certain security checkpoints such as building entrances or entry to exclusive clubs. You might find these tattoos is use to verify the identity of the individual(s), and for biometric sign-in for different devices.
One name, Motorola, is making headlines in creating smart tattoos, with another one called vitamin identification. Simply put, this is a pill you swallow, which sends off signals, 18 bits, that can connect the person to surrounding devices.
Why e-tattoos is the craze suddenly?
Every technological revolution precedes by a materials revolution. For example, the computer revolution was triggere and facilitated by semiconductors, silicon, in particular. Similarly, these tattoos are rapidly becoming popular because of the advent of flexible electronics.
The revolution was fueled by the flexibility of these chips since complex systems and boards require bendable material to go around certain materials or fit into small devices. In fact, the reason for compact and small devices was made possible due to flexible electronics. So, roll, stretch and flex these boards, and make the devices that existed in the imagination alone, come to life.
Where are these modern stamps used?
Besides using these stamps for entrance or exit from offices or biometric login for electronic devices, they can be pasted onto the wrists of patients. Now their entire medical history is with them, easily accessible at any hospital or by any doctor with the correct equipment.
Medical tattoos can also read the vitals off of a patient. And with time, they are increasingly becoming sophisticated. There are other interesting uses of these tattoos too. For example…
Google has bought patents of tattoos that help with lie detection. It’s not difficult to imagine their usage in interrogation and courtrooms (perhaps). Similarly, they have a patent for another tattoo that one can stamp on their throat for easily communicating with electronic devices. Another company Electrozyme uses a different approach, it helps monitor the athletic performance of athletes. It measures stress and lactate levels.
Smart tattoos will become prevalent in the near future. They offer tremendous benefits beyond ID validation, both for security and the health of people.