From MIT and Microsoft, Duoskin is a temporary tattoo you can use to control your devices. Made from gold leaf, the process to make your own temporary tattoo is simple, but not easy.
For those who have access to the necessary tools, the product is a beautiful application of wearable tech. It’s also a pandora’s box, as the first thing you will ask is what else can we do with it? We asked the same thing.
Lest you think we already covered this product, don’t confuse it with smart skin. That’s more of a light-up tattoo circuitry, but the two would make a beautiful and fun marriage.
We think you’ll dig the simplicity of this research. It will have you wondering how you could use it, how the wearable tech industry could use it?
What is Duoskin?
While the name appears to describe the product, it’s really the name for the fabrication process to create the tattoo.
The final product is gold leaf, which is cheap despite the name. Gold leaf is what they use to coat cheaper materials to make them appear more valuable. It’s beautiful poetry that we would put it on our skin for the same reason.
The Duoskin process starts with sketching a design using software. Manufacturing the circuit from that design, it is then applied to the skin via water transfer, the same way you apply regular temporary tats.
How you can use it.
You could use the Duoskin process to beautify your skin.
Metallic temporary tattoos are not new. Venders in Hong Kong sell them alongside regular old temporary tats. They’re worn like jewelry.
The other way you could use them is super cool.
The application process includes applying a near-field-connectivity tag, the same tech that facilitates swipe to pay and other wearable applications. This is how the tattoo connects to your device.
You could, for example, control the volume of your smartphone or navigate the screen of that same phone by dragging your finger across your tattoo.
These are just two of the first applications the MIT-Microsoft team came up with. They also made a flashy light up design and one that communicates data, like a medical bracelet.
What it means to wearable tech.
If the team from MIT and Microsoft have their way, wearable circuitry is the future of wearable tech.
In their imagined future, we won’t don clunky fitness trackers. We will, instead, apply gold leaf temporary tattoos.
While that may seem a long way out, if the speed of wearables is any guide, the idea isn’t so far-fetched. We can barely keep up with the news from the virtual reality camp.
New health trackers come out faster than you can say “Jawbone is going under.” The need for inconspicuous wearable tech is high, so don’t let it surprise you to hear more about this technology soon.
The next step for Duoskin is creating a marketable platform that people can access, not just geeks.
At present, this is still more in the lab than in the marketplace. If you don’t know someone at MIT or Microsoft, you won’t be controlling your iPhone from your forearm anytime soon.
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