Tech Tats Prototype Sfnal Devices
Tech Tats are a research prototype under development by Chaotic Moon. They are of the "stick on" variety, rather than the permanent ink variety, and contain electronic components.
(Tech tats video)
Company CEO Ben Lamm called them "the new wearable" during his TechCrunch interview, pointing out that they can be a slightly more permanent version of Fitbit and other fitness trackers. They can, for instance, detect if you're stressed, monitor your body temp, blood pressure and heart rate, and then transmit all those data through their electroconductive paint.
First, I'd like to point out that the idea of an electronic tattoo has been around for a while in science fiction. For an example, see the hand writer from John Varley's 1984 novel Steel Beach. I'd also mention Jack Vance's spray-on conductive film from his 1979 story The Face.
Somewhat earlier, be sure you don't forget about the palm flower from the 1967 novel Logan's Run.
The earliest mention of an implantable device similar to the Tech Tats tattoo is probably the emotional registers from Brian Aldiss' 1961 novel The Primal Urge. It describes the device as a small metal disk implanted in the forehead, which glows pink when the wearer is feeling sexual attraction.
All, in fact, he told himself, sighing, alarmingly ordinary. "Oh ye of the average everything," he addressed himself, improvising, as he frequently did, a rhymed oration, "Oh, ye of the average height, overtaken by taller folk, undertaken by smaller folk… an average fate one might certainly call a joke."
One feature only was definitely not, as yet all events, ordinary: the shining circle. Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead. Made of a metal resembling stainless steel, its surface was slightly convex, so that it gave a vague and distorted image of the world before it.
(Read more about Brian Aldiss' emotion register (ER))
The most accurate predictor of an electronic tattoo in science fiction was probably the subdermal microchannels from Paul Di Filippo's 1985 story Stone Lives.
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