FORGET buying a fitness tracker or smartwatch because those wearable devises are so passé.
While most wearables on the market may be functional in helping assist with daily routines, they can sometimes be a bulky eyesore. This is where technology start-up Chaotic Moon comes into play.
The Austin-based company is currently developing a temporary tattoo to mimic the functions made popular by wearables such as Fitbit. The device, known as the Tech Tat, uses a collection of biosensors to monitor vital statistics including heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
The added benefit of the design means the device is not limited to the wrist like many wearables, instead it can be placed anywhere on the body. Chief executive Ben Lamm said the devise uses electroconducive paint to pick up the vital signs, which are sent to a smartphone app via Bluetooth.
“We use a conductive material to connect the micro controller with a variety of sensors held within a flexible temporary tattoo format,” he told Wired.
While the technology is not available for purchase as it is still in its beta testing, it is expected to be hugely popular for its wide array of potential uses. “We see these being used by everyone. The tech tattoo is a device that will just make everyone’s lives easier,” he said.
“This kind of technology can work in complex situations as well as for home use. You could monitor your child’s temperature while they’re sick, or just monitor your own sleep patterns.” “This kind of device has the potential to become another part of life, and to streamline your day-to-day interactions. They could potentially help you build a more quantified self.”
Mr Lamm also believes the technology could be used for purposes similar to Apple Pay — A digital wallet allowing users to pay for things using their Apple products. “This would be implemented by securely storing data on a skin mounted micro controller and transferring the data when the user specifies based on a gesture or fingerprint on a tap to pay style device,” he told Motherboard.
As for the ability to implement the technology into permanent tattoos, Mr Lamm has his doubts and believes the temporary device has to be mastered first. “In theory they could work as real tattoos,” he toldWired.
“But when we embed into the dermal layer of our skin, a lot has to be considered. Conductivity is lost through the natural resistance of our skin, for example, and the materials we use to produce the circuit would probably have to be adapted.
“I can see them working alongside real tattoos — I just don’t think they’ll augment or replace real tattoos.”