Wearable devices and tattoos are so last year. What we’ve laid our keen eyes on is the wearable tattoo.

Now, in what universe would we need wearable tattoos? Let’s have a look.

 

Wearable Tattoo #1: Health Tracking

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Credit: Takao Someya/University of Tokyo

 

Researchers have created a wearable electronic that “looks and feels like a henna tattoo but can monitor electrical muscle activity and body temperature“. Made of breathable material called nanomesh, this can be worn without causing any skin irritation. It’s easily applied like a kid’s temporary tattoo. While participants successfully wore these on their arms for 7 days without any adverse skin reactions, the drawback is that these tattoos get washed off with water. So…did they not shower for an entire week?

Still a work-in-progress, guys. For more reading pleasure, check out the paper that was published in July 2017 here.

A little further back in 2016, MIT and Microsoft Research created a “smart tattoo” called DuoSkin that can “turn into a touchpad, remotely control your smartphone, or share data using NFC“.

MIT's DuoSkin smart tattoos

MIT has developed temporary tattoos that can control your devices.

Posted by The Verge on 12hb Ogos 2016

 

While this is undoubtedly impressive, we only have one question: Why?

 

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Wearable Tattoo #2: Information Bank

Or, your banking information.

US tech design firm Chaotic Moon is experimenting with “conductive paint and electronic components, including LED lights, to build skin-mounted gadgets that could be used to monitor vital signs or hold credit card information.”

 

 

When fingerprint sensors on smartphones became a thing, we all wondered about how criminals would bypass that security measure. So, we’re wondering the same thing – would we get skinned or de-limbed?

But on a serious note, getting your vitals checked without needing to go to the doctor sounds fab!

 

Wearable Tattoo #3: Power Generator

Now, this one we can get onboard.

First developed as a fitness tracker, this tattoo detects lactate, which is present in sweat. In general, the more intense the exercise, the more lactate the body produces. Professional athletes monitor their lactate levels during performance testing as a way to evaluate their fitness and training program. Currently, lactate testing is inconvenient and intrusive because blood samples must be collected from the person at different times during the exercise regime and then analysed.

 

 

In developing a faster, easier, and more comfortable way of measuring lactate, researchers from the University of California, San Diego found that the sensor begun generating a weak electrical current. From there, they decided to work on a sweat-powered biobattery. The current produced isn’t very high, but the team is working on enhancing it to power some small electronic devices.

Read here for more info.

Also from the same institution, a team has also developed a wearable tattoo that can detect glucose levels in your body. A great step forward for patients with diabetes!

 

Wearable Tattoo #4: Skin-ducation

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Credit: L’Oréal

 

A familiar name, L’Oréal, first debuted the My UV Patch in 2016 and refreshed it in 2017 for families. Connected to the My UV Patch app available for iOS and Android, the tattoo tracks sun exposure for multiple people and lets you know when it’s time to reapply sun screen.

The wearable tattoo is available for consumers but based on the app reviews, it seems like there’s much to be improved.

 

Wearable Tattoo #5: Just Because

Are you so sick and tired of having to key in your pin number, have your fingerprint or face scanned to unlock your phone? Motorola has got you covered with their Digital Tattoo, enabling you to unlock your phone without touching the screen. 

 

via GIPHY

 

They have also filed a patent for a neck tattoo, which acts like a sort of microphone by transmitting sound straight from the source into your phone. Super useful when you need to talk on the phone in a crowded and noisy area. Because walking away just takes too much effort.

Our verdict? Moto-no-lah.

 

Header photo credit: The Verge.

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Read also: TiC Tech: Snap As Your Go with HP Sprocket

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Let’s play with something you can buy right now – the HP Sprocket mobile instant photo printer! Check out our review here.