“Again a collaborative work of some scientists is going to give something amazing to humanity. Scientists in Berlin have successfully developed some amazing electronic tattoos. The newly developed ultrathin temporary e-tattoos can transform your skin into sensitive buttons for controlling your smartphone. The new e-tattoos can convert your skin’s wrinkles and blemishes into touch-sensitive buttons. By this, a user is able to operate his/her smartphone.”
In this collaboration researchers from Saarland University plays an important role. They added conductive ink. Due to this contribution researchers are able to print wires and electrodes on the temporary ultrathin e-tattoo paper.
As per the latest news scientist name this e-tattoos as SkinMarks. The size of the SkinMarks is not more than the width of a human hair. With the help of water, these e-tattoos can be transplanted into human skin. This e-tattoos can last for a couple of days.
People intuitively know the location of their own bumps and birthmarks, which makes them ideal locations for touch-sensitive buttons, says Martin Weigel at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany.
Researchers also added that “you could adjust smartphone volume by sliding one finger across a tattoo placed on the slide of another finger. Bend the e-tattoo finger, and the volume slider could become a play and pause button,”.
There is one more thing that makes SkinMarks adorable. It is electroluminescence i.e the e-tattoo will glow when current passes through it. Weigel says the whenever you receive notification the present e-tattoo will blink.
E-tattoo on the knuckles can act as a multifunctional system. Your knuckles will act like four distinct buttons when the hand is turned into a fist. The same can act as a long slider when the fingers are extended.
“We use of elastic properties of skin, including bending and stretching,” said Juergen Steimle of Saarland University.
One of the biggest challenges among researchers is to transmit signal from the microcontroller of the e-tattoo to a computer or any smartphone. To overcome this Weigel’s team tried used copper tape. The copper is used to connect the tattoos to a small Arduino microcontroller. Then the whole system was connected to a wristband which attaches to the body. But this gives another drawback i.e. the size of the wristband become bulky and the end user will not able to wear it on other body parts.
Chris Harrison at Carnegie Mellon University also appreciated the work of Weigel and his team. He said that lots of experiment have been done based on the e-tattoos. In all the previous experiments the point of concentration is to assemble a device on a temporary tattoo. But the technology that developed by Weigel and his team touch each and every kind of the user. Whether the person using their e-tattoo (SkinMarks) is a painter, technician or any other scientist.
However, still some limitation are present, but Harrison added that the skin devices can be the future of wearable gadgets. “Human fingers are quite nimble on their own skin,” he says. And a hand provides a greater surface area than current smartwatch screens.
Harrison also predicts that e-tattoos or the skin based controls are the new normal. He said, “you’ll have these digital tattoo parlors which you can go to in 2050 and 5 minutes later you can walk out with the iPhone 22 on your forearm”.
We all hope that after hitting the market SkinMarks will get a great response from its customers and make Harrison’s prediction true.