MIT students worked with Microsoft Research to develop a temporary smart tattoo that can control the smartphone and share data through near field communication.
The device is called DuoSkin, and it will be presented for the first time to the public in September at a technology symposium dedicated to wearables.
The Smart Tattoo
Another interesting thing is that the smart tattoo can have any design a person may choose. The only condition is to print it out in gold leaf because the material is highly conductive to electricity. After the tattoo is stamped, other components and materials are added to transform the gold foil into an interactive surface.
A gold leaf can be found at a price of $0.50 for a square of 15 cm, and it can be bought in craft stores.
The DuoSkin can be used it to navigate and control the phone, it can store data, and it can change its own color based on the temperature. The MIT students displayed LED lights arranged in the tattoo design, just to show the multitude of effects that can be added to create a more glamorous apparition of the high-tech skin device.
The first attempts to transform the skin into a touchscreen started as early as 2010 when a student from Carnegie Mellon University worked with Microsoft Research and created Skinput. The method involves the use of the wrists, or the back of the hand as a surface to take in commands for the smartphone.
However, Microsoft decided to renounce the project, because it was much too expensive. The DuoSkin appears to be much simpler to produce, and it is easier to wear than the Skinput.
Why Is It Better?
The gold leaf included in the smart tattoo makes the device robust, it’s easy to manipulate and transform, and it’s also not hurting the skin. The little piece of material can also allow interactions like sensing touch, displaying output, and wireless communication.
The production stages are quite simple. It starts with sketching the skin circuitry, then applying the gold leaf and the electronic components. After that, the tattoo can be applied directly to the skin with the use of water.
Just like a regular temporary tattoo, the DuoSkin should stick to the skin, press with a cloth, peel the external paper and remove it after it gets annoying or it needs to be changed.
The device can be transformed into jewelry, as it’s both decorative and functional and it can be applied to any kind of material – with the condition that it should be kept close to the user, and not be lost.
Image Source: Pixabay