Could An Implanted Tattoo Be The Future Of Wearable Technology?
Asked to speculate on the future of wearable tech, a US design company drafted ‘Project Underskin’ – a digital tattoo that would be implanted in your hand and allow you to trade data with a handshake, monitor your vital signs or even unlock a door, according to Fast Company.
NewDealDesign , who drafted the concept, are known for their work on the popular Fitbit activity trackers. “When we started working on it, everyone was a little squeamish about implanting something. But there’s a lot of cultural precinct,” says Jaeha Yoo, Director of Experience Design. “Obviously tattoos, piercings – people are implanting birth control. This stuff is going on now. It’s not a huge step forward to implant something like Underskin.”
The team envisage the device running off the body’s own electro-chemical energy, staying on permanently and allowing the wearer to unlock their door by touching the handle, or activating a credit card by holding it.
Because the implanted tattoo would also recognise movement, the designers believe it would be able to distinguish between different social modes of interaction that are expressed via the hand. “If you high five someone that’s very different than hand-holding, or a closed fist, or an open palm,” explains Mr Yoo. “The hand is where a lot of self expression happens.”
As for your health stats, the information would be kept private via encoding and limited display. Project Underskin envisions a small, public display on the side of the hand but a larger screen that sits in the palm, to be consulted just by the user.
Although there are no plans in place to develop the implant, NewDealDesign say Underskin could become a reality within five years, given the current state of electronics research.