Temporary Tattoos for a Permanent Fix

Choosing a tattoo is a serious commitment. Deciding on an artist is hard enough, let alone actually figuring out a design. Luckily, researchers are working on a device that may make choosing a tattoo a little more “temporary.”

Smart skins is a unique concept of packaging electronic sensors into a thin and flexible material. The material would be so think, it could be worn, and perhaps applied, like a temporary tattoo. How exactly are these smart skins being created? Researchers have begun designing them out of office supplies to showcase the ease of development and low cost at which it’s created.

The catch? We’re not talking about changing your tattoo daily with the flick of a switch; these smart skins will include display screens. Such screens would allow for hospitals to watch patient vital signs through a “temporary tattoo.”

The University of Tokyo is excited to take these smart skins a step further to display “our emotions or level of stress or unease.” The tricky part comes with creating a device that can outlast previous prototypes. Due to the skin’s delicate make-up, the smart skins have trouble keeping out air and water vapor. Just less than a tenth the width of human hair, these smart skins will be thinner than spider silk and (hopefully) withstand a full day. although the goal of creating a very smart skin seems rather far off, right now doctors are excited to use them on patients as they can currently display blood oxygen levels and body temperature. While it may be some time before we see smart skins in our local hospital, it’s safe to say that smart technology isn’t going to be a “temporary” solution.

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