Tattoo Display Fueled By Blood

A nifty Digital Tattoo Interface design concept has been entered into the Greener Gadgets Design Competition 2008 by Jim Mielke.


(Tattoo runs on blood)

The Digital Tattoo Interface has some interesting thought behind it; check out these features and descriptors:

  • This Bluetooth device is permanently implanted beneath the skin. It is flat, flexible, silicon and silicone. Tightly rolled when it's inserted through a small incision, and then unfurled beneath the skin, it lies benignly between skin and muscle.
  • Through the same incision, two small tubes are attached from the implanted device to an artery and a vein. A coin sized blood fuel cell in the implant converts the blood's glucose and oxygen from the artery to the electricity required to power the device. Used blood returns through to the vein.
  • The surface of the implant that faces the underside of the skin is covered with a matrix of field producing pixels that activate a matching matrix of pixels tattooed onto the surface of the skin above the implant. The field penetrates the skin to drive the tattooed display, while the skin continues to provide its function of sealing the body from the world. The surface of the implant is also a touch screen control, pressed through the skin.

From the stand point of science fiction fans, this cool concept is twenty-five years out of date; sf authors have already gone on ahead and imagined skinprint technology. For example, in his 1984 novel Steel Beach, John Varley thinks about handwriters:

Call me old-fashioned. I'm the only reporter I know who still uses his handwriter except to take notes…I snapped the fingers of my left hand…Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand. By pressing the dots in different combinations with my fingertips I was able to write the story in shorthand...
(Read more about John Varley's handwriter)

Also, this concept has been very neatly imagined in the cool Dattoos Personal Skinprint Technology Concept; this article also has more information on real-world attempts to actually implement similar technology.

Keep up on tattoos and body mod news:

Via Electronic tattoo display runs on blood; thanks to Lou Anders for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/22/2008)

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