Maker swallows a smart pill to track data

“We’re building a computer inside a tablet, basically.”

Melbourne-based Maker Chris Koch has taken wearable ingestible technology to a whole ‘nother by swallowing an embedded tablet (35mm x 18mm) in an effort to prove that data can be sent anywhere – even to someone’s gastrointestinal tract.


Snepo, an interactive software company, are the ones behind the chip which houses an SoC by RFdigital that includes a Bluetooth low energy component and processor. The pill-like device also features an Atmel based Arduino board encased in polyurethane.

Writing for MashableJenni Ryall reveals that the chip is equipped with 32MB of memory as well as other electronic components to extend its battery life.


Koch and his business partner, Chad Stephens, recently developed the Pop! app, which provides seamless ways for users to exchange and update their data, all whole being in total control of their information. In an attempt to promote the company, Koch is looking to eradicate people’s fear of data.

“Pop! doesn’t own your data, it is simply stored on your phone within the app and can be wiped in a second’s notice through the company’s website. The app also helps you keep your details up to date with businesses you deal with, such as your bank or telephone company, so that your mail isn’t going to five of your last rental addresses,” Mashable writes.


Pop! is what Koch describes as “autofill on steroids.” The app is a personal data wallet, protected by a PIN code and secured using military-grade encryption, that enables users to auto-fill online forms with one click while also keeping track of what companies and websites have access to that data.

“It is about being able to send your data to any location, and know exactly where it is gone,” Koch told Mashable.

When planning the promotion, the guys posed the question, “What is the most obscure place you could send you information and still know what you gave and where it is?” The answer? “Inside me,” of course.

The tablet ingestion is all part of a recently-announced competition from Pop!, whose contestants’ data gets transmitted to the tablet inside of Koch — which can be watched via live stream as the tablet makes its way through his body.

In terms of safety, it should be noted that his physician did not recommend the stunt, and claimed that there is a 5% chance the tablet could get stuck on its journey through the body.

Mashable reported that Koch underwent an X-ray and examination, allowing users to locate the whereabouts of the tablet holding their data and to more importunity, ensure it (and Koch) remain safe.

Those interested in learning more can head over to the company’s official website or follow along with the live feed here.

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