In case you missed the announcement from Motorola, there’s a digital tattoo available that will unlock your Moto X when you tap the phone against the tattoo. This “tattoo” is really just a sticker that you can place somewhere on your body, such as the underside of your arm. Simply tap the phone to the sticker, and through the magic of NFC, it unlocks the phone. I thought that it was an interesting concept, but it’s also one I’ve heard before, and, from Motorola. When the Moto X was released last year, there was also a device called the Motorola Skip. The “Skip” is a magnetic device that clips to clothing or a belt loop and also unlocks your Moto X via the same NFC magic.
The Skip and the “tattoo” will allow you to bypass the security lock on your phone. No need to key in a PIN, password, or pattern swipe. Just tap the phone and it unlocks. When I first got my Skip, I made sure to put it on my shirt sleeve every morning and then put it back on the dresser every night. I used it for a few weeks. I admit that it’s pretty cool to just unlock your phone by pressing the phone against your shirt sleeve, but this quickly grew old. My Skip is currently located in a box of “trinkets” sitting on my dresser.
The “tattoo” is a nice concept. After all, if it’s attached to you, you can’t forget it. It’s made to stay on for five days through rain, sleet, storm, or dark of night. It will also stay on through showers and swimming in a pool.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t see myself using a sticker on my body to unlock my phone. The sticker only lasts for five days. On top of that, the sticker also looks like you have a gaping wound on your arm. The stickers are sold in packs of 10 for $10 per pack. This would be about a two-month supply. At $60-$70 per year for a pack of NFC stickers, I’ll just go back to using the Skip sitting on my dresser.
Here is a video of the Digital Tattoo in action. I do feel the video is a little misleading. Since the tattoo only works with the Moto X (as of this writing) we know that the Moto X does not require you to unlock the phone in order to use the camera. Also, you can get the Moto X to just read you notifications and text messages using Touchless Controls.
I’m interested in your thoughts about using a system such as this for device security.