How can a digital tattoo unlock your phone?

Over at The Verge, Dan Seifert set out to determine just that.

The tattoos are actually nickel-sized stickers, developed by VivaLnk and currently on sale as of a few weeks ago. The stickers retail for $9.99 a pack (10 in a pack), but only work with a Moto X as of now.

VivaLnk developed what they call “eSkin technology” to communicate with mobile devices with NFC chips. The stickers that use the technology are inexpensive, disposable, and adhesive to making binding that much easier. Think of these tattoos as a poor man’s biological hack.

The company says that the average smartphone user unlocks their phone an average of 39 times per day, and uses 2.3 seconds on each of those occasions. If you’re counting, that’s ~90 seconds a day, ~547 minutes a year!

The digital tattoo aims to give back some of that time.

Unfortunately, it also seems like the technology is in its infancy – at least the practicality of it is. Dan found that touching the inside of his wrist with the back of his Moto X was pretty inconvenient compared to tried and true unlocking methods. The phone will only unlock if the screen is on, so the tattoos don’t get exactly save time. In fact, Dan states that it takes longer:

The whole process actually takes longer than just typing my PIN or drawing my swipe code. It also requires two limbs to accomplish, whereas the traditional methods can be easily done with one hand. That’s not to mention that you need to set the whole thing up again every time you replace the tattoo on your body.

The implications of the technology are surely interesting, but I can’t help but feel the tattoos will have a short lifespan due to more innovative methods. The Xiaomi band for instance, announced last week, doubles as a security token for your phone when in proximity.

If you’d like to read the rest of the VivaLnk Digital Tattoo review from The Verge, read on.

What do you think, Moto X users? Does this method of unlocking interest you, or will you stick with the more traditional PIN or pattern unlock?

Tags: Digital Tattoo Moto X NFC VivaLnk

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