Gadgets

These tech tattoos could change everything

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David Cornish
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You're crammed into a sweaty train carriage, slowly losing the will to live. You desperately want to turn up that Will Young banger and disappear into your happy place (we're not judging), but you're so tightly packed in that you can't reach your phone in your pocket to crank up the volume. 

In 2016, you just have to remain trapped in your quiet hell and ride it out. In the near future, your DuoSkin volume control tattoo could allow you to tap a patch of skin on your arm and slip into the warm tones of Mr Young.

The creation of Microsoft Research and MIT Media Lab, DuoSkin is the latest in tech tattoo technology: temporary gold-leaf transfer tattoos that stick customisable electronic controls onto the surface of your skin. 

DuoSkins come in three forms:

A tattoo input device

A tattoo input device

The DuoSkin type described in our imaginative intro is an 'input device' - a gold-leaf tattoo that would register touch and communicate with an attached gadget, like a smartphone or MP3 player.

It could control individual functions, or even act like a laptop tracking pad.

A tattoo output device

A tattoo output device

DuoSkin can also work as a display unit - but you're not going to be watching Netflix on the back of your hand just yet.

At present, DuoSkin tattoos can change colour or indicate different patterns in response to new signals - like a shift in body temperature. This could be particularly useful for medical applications.

A tattoo communication tag

A tattoo communication tag

Met someone at a networking event/bar and want to swap details? A DuoSkin tag tattoo could be scanned by a smartphone, giving someone all your contact information and links to your online portfolio/dating account. 

You can do what you want with them

The team behind DuoSkin tattoos are hoping that users would come up with their own unique uses for the tech - from pimped up LED tattoos to controls they can use in their job.

For more information on the research, check out the DuoSkin website.  

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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