Nokia files patent for vibrating tattoos
Can you imagine your body vibrating when you have an incoming call?
It may sound futuristic, but the Finnish phone company, Nokia, has already filed a U.S. patent for vibrating tattoos.
Nokia describes the proposed product as a material attached to the skin that is able to detect a magnetic field and respond to that stimulus through vibration.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Nokia expects phones to ‘communicate’ to the magnetic field on a person’s skin when they are getting an incoming call, receive text messages, or if the phone’s battery is running low. Nokia thinks that in the future they will even be able to have different vibrations for different contacts, much like today’s ringtones.
While Nokia states that this would not have to be a permanent tattoo (it can just be a badge), thought has been put into how ink with magnetic compounds could work.
This news has caused a lot of controversy because while it is an exciting new technology, it could be inconvenient in public situations and there is a large lack of necessity for it.
In his blog for Unwired.com, Vlad Bobleanta pointed out that vibrating tattoos “could prove useful in very quiet situations, where even a phone set to vibrate can be heard and can be disturbing. Although [in this] case we are already plunging into creepy territory.”
Eric Zeman, writer for Information Week, saw the public situation differently. “It doesn’t take much imagination to think of all the places in which vibrating skin would be inappropriate or distracting in an impolite or even dangerous way,” he said.
Zeman also mentioned how this technology would make it harder for people to unplug from their devices. People are already immersed in computers, TVs, and tablets. Do we really need to be that connected?
“Going so far as to embed technology into our skin so we don’t miss text messages would take away an element of our humanity. It would rob us of the present,” said Zeman. “We’d become even more addicted to our technology than we already are. This would only accelerate people’s need for a fix.”