Interactive Tattoo Smartphone Controllers Might Soon be a Thing

Scientists from Saarland University in Germany, in collaboration with Google, have come up with temporary tattoos that can be used to control your smartphones. These tattoos are made on tattoo decal paper fitted with Arduino microcontroller.

Source: SkinMarks Research Paper

Called ‘SkinMarks’, these stick-on tattoos which are thinner than a human hair strand can be stuck on your knuckles or skin creases to make it work as a glowy touch sensitive keypad or toggle buttons.

You can use the tattoo to toggle the volume of your phone, change tracks, answer a call and many other such mini-tasks.

“SkinMarks comprise skin electronics on temporary rub-on tattoos. They conform to fine wrinkles and are compatible with strongly curved and elastic body locations,” the research report reads.

Source: Same as above

The tattoo uses conductive ink to print wires and electrodes on the decal paper.

This new tech innovation might just be the thing of the future where you just need to slide your finger over the other in order to control the volume, call your loved one with a press on the knuckle and tens of hundreds of other such mini-tasks.

The researchers have identified five parts on the human body which ‘demonstrate novel interaction techniques that leverage SkinMarks’ unique touch, squeeze and bend sensing with integrated visual output’.

Source: Same as above

The tattoo can even interactively change its function according to the bend of the skin at a given point.

Per se, if you bend your finger, the creases will form new function keys as opposed to a straight finger which provides the user with a slider which can be used for toggling volume during a call or video.

Flaws of SkinMarks include that a user is prone to accidentally pressing buttons while carrying on with usual life tasks as wearing buttons on your fingers will certainly take some getting used to.

The researched tech is still in its infancy and a lot more needs to be explored more, especially taking into account that a user’s health isn’t endangered in any ways or their day to day routine isn’t hindered.

The new tattoo tech is surely an eye catcher but has much room for improvement and might be a thing in the future among tech enthusiasts — a fad even, as it seems to lack practicality.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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