MIT and Microsoft Create Tattoos That Can Control Smartphones

Trevor English

A research team from MIT Media lab and Microsoft has created a gold leaf infused tattoo that can turn your skin into a touchpad capable of controlling wireless devices. Called DuoSkin, the tattoos essentially function as extensions of circuits. When touched and manipulated, different circuits are completed sending signals to your smartphone. Even though the tattoo is made from gold, it is still fairly cheap to manufacture since not much gold is actually used in the leaf.

3class_cap[Image Source: MIT]

"DuoSkin is a fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly on their skin. Using gold metal leaf, a material that is cheap, skin-friendly, and robust for everyday wear, we demonstrate three types of on-skin interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output, and wireless communication." ~ MIT

The research team has proposed that the tattoos could be used as trackpads, medical related temperature sensors, or extraction of health data. All three of these uses are promising and could pose massive advances in their respective industries. Believe it or not, the team is capable of creating tattoos with LEDs embed in them that can be controlled by the circuit as well.