Your tattoo is ringing

23 Mar 2012

ITEM: Nokia plans to integrate your tattoos into your smartphone.

Provided you have tattoos, I mean.

But no, really.

According to Unwired View, Nokia has filed a patent application in the US for a form of haptic technology (i.e. the tech that creates that vibrating sensation when you poke a touchscreen) that can be used for patches stuck to your skin. .

For example, you could wear a piece of material attached to your arm that can pair with your smartphone and detect magnetic fields. When the phone receives a call, it sends out a special magnetic field the material detects, causing it to vibrate, thus alerting you on an incoming call.

The next stage would be to apply the same capabilities in tattoos by using ferromagnetic ink:

The ink material would first be exposed to high temperatures to demagnetize it. Then the tattoo would be applied. […] The procedure is identical to that of getting a ‘normal’ tattoo – only the ink is special.

After the tattoo has been applied, you’ll need to magnetize it. That means bringing the tattooed area in the close proximity of an external magnet, and going “several times over this magnet to magnetize the image material again”. The tattoo will then have enhanced sensitivity towards external alternating magnet fields, and will basically function the same way the aforementioned material attached to your skin did.

Whether it will ever catch on is anyone’s guess. Unwired View calls it “creepy”. Others call it “barking mad”.

As for you reporter, let’s just say it would be my first tattoo.

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