Nokia has submitted a patent for a tattoo technique that can be used to induce a vibration on the skin on command by a cell phone.
The idea is to use a ferromagnetic tattoo laid in such a way that creates an antenna to receive a signal sent from a cell phone and use that signal to activate a vibration. In a way this is an extension of “printing electronics”, a technology that let a modified ink jet printer to print an electronic circuit on a plastic substrate (or other kind of materials), clearly simplified to make it possible to use skin. Besides, the only function demanded out of the tattoo is to convert the signal coming from the cell phone into a vibration to let you know that the phone is ringing.
Nokia sees as application very noisy environment where you might miss the ringing construction plants, but also disco…. or on the opposite situations where you do not want to disturb the silence and even the vibration of the cell phone may create some sort of disturbance.
The vibration of the skin will be felt by you, only.
Not sure if this patent will ever turn into a commercial success but what is interesting is the continuous generation of ideas leading to new kind of interfaces and the stronger mixing of electronics with our body. Is the future bringing a steady path towards cyber-humans?