Nokia file vibrating tattoo patent

by Dale Wright

Nokia have filed a new US patent based around an idea which could change the way we use our phones forever.
Nokia Tat Nokia file vibrating tattoo patent

The patent is based around a futuristic tattoo applied on a person’s skin which can vibrate in response to signals from a paired device. The tattoo would have to contain ferromagnetic material and could potentially vibrate in a number of different patterns to alert the person to variety of actions.

The tattoo wouldn’t necessarily have to be visible, and it could also be sprayed or stamped onto a person’s finger, arm or abdominal area instead of being permanently inked on.

The tattoo has the potential of providing different sensations to alert someone to incoming texts, calls, low battery, calendar reminders and even tweets or Facebook updates. Another potential use is as a security tool: users could have a ‘signature’ tattooed on their skin so that their phone would only be unlocked when they are close to the device.

The idea is the latest in a series of haptic feedback devices which product developers hope to use to improve the experience of using a phone or tablet computer. Haptic feedback gives the user different types of tactile sensations in response to performing different actions; one example is how some games controllers vibrate during game play. Some developers believe that once users become accustomed to a haptic phone or tablet, it will make other non-haptic devices feel ‘dead’ in comparison.

The tattoo idea has only been patented for now, and there are no indications that Nokia will follow it up yet. It may be that some people will feel that having a permanent or semi-permanent skin marking paired with a device is a step too far. However, haptic feedback does appear to be a developing area in the phone and tablet market.

Would you be comfortable having a ‘tattoo signature’ on your skin that reacts to a linked device?