Google creates smart tattoo that acts as touch panel

Google creates smart tattoo that acts as touch panel

Google has designed a smart tattoo model that transforms the skin into a touch-sensitive panel. The project, called SkinMarks, developed since 2017

THE Google developed, in partnership with researchers from the University of Saarland, Germany, a model of smart tattoo that transforms the skin into a real touch panel (touch sensitive panel, in Portuguese). The project, called SkinMarks, developed since 2017 and seeks to boost the use of electronic devices through natural movements of the human body, such as touch and gestures similar to those used on cell phones and tablets.

Google creates smart tattoo that acts as touch panel Google's SkinMarks makes your skin a touch-sensitive panel

An essay written by researchers from the German university explains the reason for the research: a touch-sensitive panel attached to the user's own skin facilitates the use of technology, especially when taking into account that human beings in general are always on the move. In addition, tattoos would replace the need, for example, to look at the cell phone all the time, improving motor coordination. Since most movements are instinctive, especially with the presence of electronic devices so ingrained in society, no one would waste time memorizing specific choreographies to use this tool.

How does SkinMarks' smart tattoo work?

5 separate images in blocks from A to E representing smart tattoo models. The first concerns the wrists of the hand with a black tattoo, the second a thin line in one of the folds of the index finger, the third one pressing a piece of skin to activate the tattoo, the fourth one dot covered with a yellow heart and the fifth a line tattooed around a silver ringSkinMarks touch sensitive tattoos can be colored too

The technology works by using sensors installed on the surface of the smart tattoo. It, in turn, is produced by applying a type of conductive ink to a tattoo paper via a screen printing process, as T-shirt prints are usually made, but by gluing that paper with a thermal conductor. Conductive paints serve, among other things, to develop electrical circuits on any surface. Because of that, the illustrations may not be very complex, but you can still make a heart, lightning or something more minimalist.

Still according to the study of SkinMarks, they can be applied to five types of surfaces on the body in a process similar to the application of temporary tattoos. These surfaces are different from other parts of the skin because they are easily identifiable and stand out. Among them are the spots, the elbow folds, the joints in the fingers and bony surfaces, such as those on the wrist. In addition to these, there is also the possibility to position a smart tattoo next to an accessory, such as earrings, rings and bracelets in this case, the tattoo would also work as a temporary adherence and, to activate it, the person could turn the ring on his finger or move the bracelet. Can you imagine being able to see the time by bending a finger?

Five images divided by blocks from A to D, with A having two images. In A, two very opaque and small tattoos on the index finger, in B, a design that resembles a tennis racket, in C, a design that looks like a piece of chain mail and in D a phosphorescent blue heart Some examples of SkinMarks' smart tattoo on the body

THE SkinMarkstherefore, it brings up a prototype of technology that could very well have come out of a science fiction book, in the biggest cyberpunk style. However, so far the Google limited itself to funding German research, which means that this type of smart tattoo it is not yet a product for the public, but an idea that may even influence new studies. Who knows, in a few years, this will be a reality for the population? There is no way to know, just wait.

If you want to know more about this specific project of Google, check out the video below, in English, about the SkinMarks.

The project SkinMarks of Google it can be considered a successor to the old electronic tattoos that worked via Bluetooth, back in the past decade. Of course, currently, technology funded by Google infinitely more developed and the trend will become more and more innovative. Perhaps the Cyberpunk 2077 game or William Gibson's distinctive novels are not that far away.

Sources: CNET | SkinMarks Paper