John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Press your phone against this creepy skin patch instead of fumbling with that pesky code.
What's the biggest hassle of modern existence? Undoubtedly, it's spending an average of 2.3 seconds to unlock your smartphone, according to a very serious assertion by Google's Deepak Chandra.
This "cumbersome" process can lead to security risks, he further claims, with "more than 50 percent of users" opting to not lock their devices rather than tapping out a code. But Chandra and his team at Google's Advanced Technology and Projects division are about to save us all. They and "digital tattoo" company VivaLnk have created a weird, David Cronenbergian artifact that sticks to your body; simply press your phone against it, and it automatically bypasses the code-entering stage.
The nickel-sized skin patch lasts for five days, is shower-proof, and is for sale now for Motorola's Moto X phones ($9.99 for a 10-pack). The debut of the digital tattoo has already genuinely or sarcastically excited the body/machine-nexus crowd. (I can't tell which from this post at Fashioning Tech.):
What's that, I hear you say? Their marketing says it takes the average user 2.3 seconds to access their phone and we do this approximately 39 times a day? But you know MATH so you've figured out that it will only save about 90 seconds per day of your precious time. Quit your whining and welcome to the future, baby.
I would like to point out that, for it to work, you must first turn on the phone's display and then hold it for a moment against your fake tattoo. That means a loss of at least a precious second. Still, if Google's calculations are correct, this thing could save more than a full day's minute: