Philips Design Talks: Electric Tattoos

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by: C. Sven Johnson

A few weeks back I wondered if Philips was going to get more involved in the Second Life community (reLink).
Well, it just so happens I caught word that they’re conducting a
discussion group later today inside the virtual world to discuss,
interestingly enough, “SKIN: Tattoos” (Link).

A few of you might recall me at some point mentioning Microsoft’s patent for using skin as an electrical conductor.
It made the news and the blog rounds and, because I’ve done some
wearable computing design, it got my attention as well. What you may
not know is that the general idea has been around a while (Link). The latest discussions I’ve read have to do with “printing” RFID tags on soldiers and what not. Interesting material.

In any event, that’s apparently not what Philips has in
mind. From the video above which I serendipitously stumbled upon,
they’re apparently curious about what sounds like the same kind of
technology being used by Amazon’s new Kindle electronic book: microspheres. There’s a patent out there covering this kind of thing (Link), and my guess is that Philips is referencing it.

Wild stuff, to be sure, but from the reports I’ve read the page
refresh rate is pretty low. If that’s the case, nudist beaches won’t
have to worry about walking, talking, dancing baloney billboards anytime soon.

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