Some tattoos are awesome, a slice of pizza on your arm for instance. Some tattoos are awful, a gigantic Mitt Romney logo(or any politician) on your face for instance. Not many tattoos manage to actually do anything for us, however. Unless, that is, you count looking cool and maybe scoring a mate at the local motorcycle repair shop as doing something. So it gives us great pleasure to announce new tattoo technology that is downright useful and could potentially lead to better health and longer and more productive lives. Now your parents will have zero ammo when they say you can’t get one!
Developed at the University of Toronto by PhD candidate Vinci Hung, this new creation is a tattoo in name only. It’s really an advanced sensor that monitors your health. Here is how it works. This tiny and stickable device is an ion-selective electrode that monitors the skin’s pH levels related to metabolic changes. The eyes of the tattoo work as reference electrodes while the ears are the contacts needed for a related measuring device.
The tattoo was thought up using a lot of scientific know how, but was created using just a simple screen printer. According to the maker, it is as harmless and temporary as those rub-on tattoos you used to find in those quarter machines at the food store. Unfortunately this is just a concept design for now. There are no plans to bring it to stores, tattoo parlors or the aforementioned quarter machines. Hung has published a detailed paper, however, outlining its development and implementationÂ here. Here’s hoping if it ships, it’ll feature different designs like, say, an arrow going through a heart that is emblazoned with the word “mom.”