What? Smartphone controls on our skin via tattoos?
A team of scientists from Saarland University in Germany headed by Martin Weigel in collaboration with Google is reinventing electronic tattoos that put smartphone controls on your skin; more specifically, on your skin marks, other blemishes, even knuckles, for they are more ideal for touch-sensitive buttons.
You could slide your finger to your very own Orion’s Belt on your chin to pump up the volume or even answer a call by squeezing that handsome mole (not that pimple, please).
“We make use of the elastic properties of the skin, including bending and stretching,” says team member Jürgen Steimle, also at Saarland University. Some tattoos are designed to function in different ways depending on how you bend; let’s say, your finger.
The German team called the E-Tattoos “Skin Marks”. They used conductive ink to print wires and electrodes on temporary tattoo paper and yes again, they are temporary tattoos about as thin as the human hair.
What’s cool is you can apply it in minutes even in your own home. Remember that kid’s sticker tattoo? It is done simply as that with water. Another great is the fact that it is temporary. Still ain’t cool enough? They have also those E-tattoos that lights and blinks, like your kid’s awesome lighting shoe.
Imagine the possibility of tattoo artworks in your body; maybe a Jesus image with glowing halo while playing gospel music on your phone, or a red blinking light while listening to some metal music.
“It will be ‘10 years before we see touch-sensitive tattoos in mainstream use, “said Chris Harrison from Carnegie Mellon University. He suggests skin-based controls will be widely used in the future.
“You’ll have these digital tattoo parlors which you can go to in 2050 and 5 minutes later you can walk out with the iPhone 22 on your forearm,’ he added.
Here’s a vid from New Scientist: