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You’re in a crowded hall trying to make a phone call, but it’s so noisy the person you’re talking to can’t hear you. If you had a neck tattoo synced with your phone though, your sound would be much clearer. At least that’s what Motorola is planning on now that they’ve filed a patent to couple a skin tattoo to an electronic device. At the beginning of the summer, the Google subsidiary unveiled how tattoos could be used for authentication and now they’re working on developing the concept further. Soon neck tattoos won’t be seen as a frightening display of toughness, but merely a way to further connect with your smartphone.
Motorola filed their patent for an electronic neck tattoo last May as a way to corner the market on all smartphone connected tattoos. The electronic device would be located on the throat region and operate as an auxiliary voice input to a mobile communication device. Included in this tattoo is a microphone of sorts, a transceiver to connect to your device, a controller and a power supply. The idea is that the tattoo would be able to communicate to the device by Bluetooth, NFC or other wireless protocols. The tattoo being on your neck would pick up your sound straight from the source and even enhance what you’re saying before wirelessly transmitting it to the device.
Motorola and Google aren’t new to the electronic tattoo arena though. In May, Regina Dugan, Motorola’s Senior VP, debuted a tattoo that could be used as password authentication. They’re also exploring an ingestible pill that would be powered off your stomach’s acids and project a signal for authentication. Motorola teamed up with electronics firm MC10, who is behind Reebok’s Checklight, on those projects and is likely working with them on the new neck tattoo.
Integrated into your skin, the tattoo would be flexible and always available and could possibly double as authentication as well as sound enhancement. No need to worry about forgetting it or loosing it as it’s always attached. But how visible would they be, and what happens two years down the road when they improve electronic tattoos? Would you have to get it removed and reapplied? Lots of questions still remain as to whether this is a viable option, but it certainly makes for an interesting patent.