Always further: Google invents a tattoo that turns the skin into a touch screen


The American search engine giant, Google, is working on a smart tattoo. Thanks to integrated sensors, this tattoo is transformed into a ‘touchpad’, therefore into a touch screen.

The project, developed by Google Research and titled ‘SkinMarks’, relies on a mechanism of temporary tattoos. Started in 2017, it is about to be finalized.

The tactile effect produced by the tattoo will be similar to that of a Smartphone: the user will be able to perform movements on it using his fingers.

This novelty may seem surprising but yet, it does have a future. We are not talking in this case about ‘research’ but rather about concrete changes which could prove to be fundamental and essential in the future. Could we, for example, use an interface with our fingers and our motor capacities of our body, without using a Smartphone?

In any case, this is the opinion of researchers from the University of Saarland in Germany. To develop this technology, they used a ‘white paper’, whose properties are similar to those of human skin. In this way, they managed to ‘take advantage of the natural and sophisticated motor capacities of man and his skin’.

The interaction of the man’s skin and limbs also allows him to perform movements without his having to pay attention to them.

The tattoos are made by screen printing with conductive ink on tattoo paper. Some prototypes will also be presented in the form of cartoon characters. The ‘SkinMark’, whose thickness has been deliberately reduced, was also designed to be ‘stretchable and to fit all body shapes’, explain the researchers.

The project, which should see the light of day soon, was funded by the Google Faculty Research Awards.

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