Vibrating Tattoos Alert You to Cell Phone Messages

Think you're already glued to your cell phone? This budding new cell phone technology may just get under your skin

As previously reported, tattooed women are outnumbering men in the ink department. But thanks to the newest technology, the future of tattoos may get even more (dys)functional. According to Tech News World, Nokia has just obtained a patent to develop a vibrating tattoo. That’s right, the next generation of smart phones are about to really get under your skin -- with a tattoo that vibrates whenever someone calls or sends a message.

Sound too science fictiony? Like A Beautiful Mind paranoia meets Minority Report dystopia? Well, first off, getting a patent doesn’t necessarily mean that Nokia has any specific diabolical plans for this nano-biotechnology yet. Second, tattoo body alerts aren’t that far of a stretch from what we have now. Think about it: Dog and cat owners already use microchip implants to track and identify beloved pets. In 2004, the FDA approved microchip transfers of medical records, which, while controversial in privacy issues, could be life-saving. Computer console games like Kinect use your body as a human remote control. Heck, we barely even bat an eye that GPS track our every move (or that people “check-in” everywhere they go). Smart phones are slowly replacing credit and debit cards as the cashless way to pay for Caramel Frappuccinos and more.

A few scant years ago, Bluetooth technology seemed revolutionary. Used to be that if you saw a person talking to themselves, you’d assume they were a mental institution escapee. Now, folks just shrug and assume, “Eh, earpiece.” (Though in big cities like New York and Washington, D.C., it’s more of a toss-up).

Yes, yes, some of us already feel naked without our smart phones. Sometimes, being offline for even a few minutes can feel like a lifetime (especially if you’re stuck in a boring meeting). But would you really want your phone to literally be attached to your body? How do you turn the darn thing off? Or worse, take it out? Is it even safe? Will there be an age limit? Will it make public cell phone talkers even more annoying? And whoa: If cellular provider contracts are hard to break now, think of how iron-clad they’ll be if they’re the ones inserting and removing these tats? Sooo many questions.

So, beautiful body art that has personal significance? Yes. Devices that vibrate on other body parts? Approved. But vibrating tattoos? Denied. I’ll keep the ring and ping on my phone, and the vibrator in my nightstand, thankyouverymuch. 

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