Wearables may be a hot trend, perhaps even fashionable, but it’s hard for any gadget to match the cool factor of a tattoo. Perhaps that’s why the digital creatives at Chaotic Moon invented Tech Tats — a kind of “biowearable” that involves sticking small electrical components to your skin and connecting them with conductive ink.
These tattoos are of the press-on variety, which is probably good, both for their own functionality and for the safety of their users (it also avoids the "squick factor" with which many people react to the idea of under-the-skin digital implants). Sensors, LEDs, and other components can be integrated with itty-bitty ATtiny85 microcontrollers to make a variety of smart tats, which Chaotic Moon plans to eventually market as consumer devices.
Potential applications range from collecting health or fitness data to enabling wallet-free payment systems. Instead of reaching for an oral thermometer when you feel a fever coming on, for instance, you might paste on a suite of sensors that can detect a variety of symptoms — and then share the data with your doctor for a remote diagnosis. For those with chronic conditions that need constant monitoring, Tech Tats could offer a lightweight, inexpensive, and relatively unobtrusive solution. And the same goes for fitness tracking and other applications.
There are also aesthetic advantages to tech that sits flush against your skin. Depending on whether a situation is appropriate for geek chic, a Tech Tat could be hidden under clothing or proudly displayed for all to see. And there’s no reason the tats have to be useful. Discovering the new aesthetic expressions that they enable is likely to be a significant part of their appeal.
Check out the video below to learn more.
Author: Ted Burnham