Smartphones Of The Future Will Be Controlled By Electronic Tattoos

Technology is about to take mobile phone communication in strange new directions.

e-tattoos Image New Scientist/YouTube

In the future, smartphones won’t be accessed via some high tech number pad but instead by a series of electronic tattoos burned into our very skin.

That’s according to scientists working out of Saarland University in Germany.

Researchers at the Saarbrucken-based institution have been developing something called SkinMarks, in association with Google, and it’s ground-breaking to say the least.

As detailed by New Scientist, the new control system allows users to control devices like smartphones via temporary electronic tattoos that are placed on the skin.

These tattoos contain special sensors that allow the users to control electrical devices in a variety of ways and can be removed after a few days of use.

A research paper on the topic outlined the vision behind this ground-breaking tech. 

“SkinMarks are temporary interactive tattoos. They sense touch on submillimeter electrodes, capture squeeze and bend input, and support active visual output.” 

“Through a vastly reduced tattoo thickness and increased stretchability, a SkinMark is sufficiently thin and flexible to conform to irregular geometry, like flexure lines and protruding bones, while still allowing the user to reference those landmarks actually or visually.”


An accompanying video, meanwhile, revealed how this type of technology could work in practice.

If implemented, the new SkinMarks control system could see the size of the average smartphone decrease, or potentially could pave the way for a smartphone system that comes directly built in to the human body.

Welcome to the future, everybody.

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