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You Can Now Unlock Your Smartphone with a ‘Tattoo’

Daniel Bean
Editorial Assistant
July 23, 2014


In the multi-app, multi-gadget search to invent an easier method for unlocking our smartphones — something we do around 40 times a day on average — Motorola has come up with an idea it hopes will finally stick: a tattoo that opens your smartphone when it’s held near the phone’s screen.

The Digital Tattoo by VivaLnk is an NFC-laced, tribal-looking sticker that attaches to your skin. (Don’t worry, Mom, it’s not permanent.) Once you pair the tattoo with your device, the tattoo will unlock your secured phone whenever you tap the phone against it –– whether the tat’s on your wrist, upper arm, lower back, neck, or face — whatever you like.

Each nickel-sized sticker will remain attached to your skin for about a five-day period, depending on how much of a gym rat you are.

A pack of 10 Digital Tattoos will run you $9.99 and can be purchased directly from the company’s website.

If being branded with a smartphone unlocking key isn’t your style, there are still plenty of other options for securing and unlocking your phone beyond using a cumbersome PIN code.

Motorola last year introduced Skip, a clothing clip that acts in the same way that VivaLnk’s sticker does. And for a one-time $10 price, the reusable Skip might be a smarter purchase in the long run, too.

Motorola Skip. (Engadget) 

Google has also promised us a feature in the upcoming “L” version of Android that will use an owner’s Android Wear smartwatch to detect when to remove security from a phone’s Lock screen.

And on the app side of things, location-based schemes in the SkipLock and Lockdown Pro Android applications will remove the PIN from your phone’s Lock screen when you’re at home, work, or any other place you “whitelist.”

But, still, VivaLnk claims that its product is currently the simplest and most thought-free way to unlock your phone. That might be right. And with the Digital Tattoo’s relatively low price and important temporary properties, we’re figuring you could stand to be one of the “bad boys” (or girls) and give it a try without completely regretting it –– which is something that can’t really be said of other tattoos.

Have questions, comments, or just want to tell me something funny? Email me at danbean@yahoo-inc.com.