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February 27, 2008 12:08 PM   Subscribe

The ultimate in nerdy tattoos? "Jim Mielke's wireless blood-fueled display is a true merging of technology and body art. At the recent Greener Gadgets Design Competition, the engineer demonstrated a subcutaneously implanted touch-screen that operates as a cell phone display, with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin."
posted by tugena13 (63 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool!
posted by agregoli at 12:11 PM on February 27, 2008


OMG WANT
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 12:12 PM on February 27, 2008


WOW.
posted by proj08 at 12:12 PM on February 27, 2008


Demonstrated or talked about?
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:12 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Skinwatch at last!
posted by SaintCynr at 12:13 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have a CYBERNETIC BLOOD ENGINE <> installed IN MY BODY, and it... charges my cell phone?
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2008


I keep thinking whenever I see that picture that it would really suck to have someone tattoo a phone on you sideways like that. You practically have to dial it upside down.

Note to future phone tattooers: Tattoo the fucker on so that it's oriented like a watch. That's why watches are made that way.
posted by shmegegge at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2008


It's incredibly hard to tell from the linked article, but I'm pretty sure this thing does not exist. It is a "concept". The power supply, as described here, is imaginary, I'm pretty sure.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


<> = /heavymetal font
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2008


to allow the blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell that converts glucose and oxygen to electricity

So how many of these blood fuel cells do I need to eat candy all day and burn the calories? Preferably without a heart attack.
posted by Gary at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2008


I won't be happy until someone comes out with a bluetooth phone receiver and microphone that get implanted in one's thumb and pinky finger respectively so all you need to do is make the 'phone' gesture with your hand and hey presto, a phone!
posted by jtron at 12:19 PM on February 27, 2008 [11 favorites]


Oh, yeah, reading that page again, this thing is a total fantasy.

I've worked with people who have tried to do wireless implant stuff, and I can tell you right now, these designers have no idea of the power requirements involved. I guess that doesn't matter when your device is powered by an imaginary fuel cell technology, though.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:21 PM on February 27, 2008


don't ruin the moment

;)
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 12:22 PM on February 27, 2008


My favorite part?

Way down at the bottom of this article (thanks, mr_roboto!), it says:

"THIS PRODUCT IS WATERPROOF AND IT IS POWERED BY PIZZA."
posted by tugena13 at 12:23 PM on February 27, 2008


Whatever, dude, I've got like six of those IN MY FACE.
posted by The Straightener at 12:25 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


this subcutaneously implanted touch-screen blood-fueled display...does it vibrate?
posted by nitsuj at 12:26 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


ahhhh crap, i meant this article.

oops.
posted by tugena13 at 12:27 PM on February 27, 2008


ATTN: Design Industry

You are no longer allowed to mock up designs for things when the technology behind them is, as of yet, complete bullshit, unless you are doing it for a science fiction piece. This is right out, as is the "nanotech" interface made of seeds.

KTHX,

Serious Business
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:30 PM on February 27, 2008 [15 favorites]


By the way, I have a concept that needs publicity too! Come on, gather 'round, gather 'round.

It's a ring that you wear, and it makes you happier, more energetic & modifies your metabolism so you no longer need food or water! Plus it lasts forever, takes no power, and the act of manufacturing it releases bunnies & happy flowers into the environment while disposing of several tons of CO2!

...where's my award?

Also, I'll need someone to take a nice publicity shot for my NYT feature.

I also have several dozen other concepts, if the ring one doesn't really do it for you. For example, I have a special wheel that generates more energy than it takes to spin it! There's the sheet of paper that contains all knowledge that will ever exist and can answer any question, the pill that makes you immortal and indestructible at the same time, the shoes that will fly you to any star in less than a second, and so on!

Inquiries not welcome -- just mail me the money & fame. Thank you.
posted by aramaic at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Flagged as "Hey let's all post futuristic gadget ideas up on Metafilter and talk about them"
posted by poppo at 12:37 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


So this device runs on blood, right. If it needs more power, the heart will have to worker harder. I see no life threatening problems here just an easy workout!
posted by Hugonaut at 12:38 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


The tattoo display is still just a concept, with no word on plans for commercialization.

In other words: I can make shit up too! Sure, it's neat shit, it's the kind of thing you would see in a really bad ass sci-fi movie, but it's imaginary nonetheless. Oh, I'm sorry, did you think it was real? Nope, it's just something my fevered imagination came up with last night and I threw a photoshop image together to get the idea across.

Tell you what, I'll give you a ride in my flying car to make you feel better. Don't touch that button though, we'll go back in time to 1956 and that shit is just a hassle.
posted by quin at 12:42 PM on February 27, 2008


I like how other designs (in mr_roboto's link) are powered by shaking or winding or twisting or even cycling. Finally someone realized that if you're serious about solving global warming then you need to design something powered by digested pizza, not jumping jacks.
posted by Gary at 12:44 PM on February 27, 2008


*ahem*
posted by LordSludge at 1:02 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Note to future phone tattooers: Tattoo the fucker on so that it's oriented like a watch. That's why watches are made that way.

So... make it just like it is in the picture?
posted by hjo3 at 1:04 PM on February 27, 2008


Okay, actually, I would love some implanted RAM for remembering names, dates, hard facts, etc. Until then, my Treo will have to do.
posted by LordSludge at 1:07 PM on February 27, 2008


/me ponders how integrating this into her imagined pinup-of-self tattoo could pair with other implanted things...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:12 PM on February 27, 2008


"...two small tubes on the device are attached to an artery and a vein to allow the blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell that converts glucose and oxygen to electricity. After blood flows in from the artery to the fuel cell, it flows out again through the vein."

That is both an excellent and horrendously horrible idea at the same time.
posted by 517 at 1:22 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


aramaic, your ring has already made it to market.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:23 PM on February 27, 2008


How locked down is it? Can you flash the firmware and run homebrew? Linux?
posted by porn in the woods at 1:27 PM on February 27, 2008


What if it's, oh, say, February and you're wearing a heavy coat when the call comes in?
posted by PlusDistance at 1:28 PM on February 27, 2008


Synopsis: an art project that runs on MAGIC
posted by mrnutty at 1:31 PM on February 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wait, so this Dark Mark™ Technology is or isn't for reals? Cuz I'm a little confused now.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:31 PM on February 27, 2008


It should be real.
Always struck me as strange that cyborgs, Steve Austin say, were in any kind of real shape (without prosthetic body sculpting). All the guys I know short a limb or two have to work out twice as hard and eat much less otherwise they get really flabby really fast. (Gym buddy of mine has one arm, really hard to balance his training. He has to really isolate his arm when he’s working his biceps).
So if there is some magic power source that doesn’t draw some metabolic energy off the body, those nifty legs are going to keep you doughy no matter how much running you do.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:36 PM on February 27, 2008


Neat, but impractical as technology changes as fast as hairstyles. In the future, even more so, I'd expect.

LordSludge, OMG NIGHTMARES AHHHH MUST BLEACH EYES/BRAIN.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:44 PM on February 27, 2008


MrMoonPie: Foiled!

...well, at least I can still have Mr. Chiu killed.

I think we can all take comfort in that prospect.
posted by aramaic at 1:53 PM on February 27, 2008


I am seven of nine. Must have.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:54 PM on February 27, 2008


I wonder if there are any pictures of, and glowing articles about, jetcars and homework-performing robots on the Internet.
posted by DU at 2:08 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just drew a phone on my arm with a marker. My friends think it's dumb, but they're just jealous because I won't let them use it.
posted by hermitosis at 2:22 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


But what if you're wearing long sleeves?
posted by tapeguy at 2:22 PM on February 27, 2008


Main post link should have been to here where there's all kinds of cool stuff that actually does exist.
posted by rusty at 2:23 PM on February 27, 2008


"What've we got here?"
"That guy in the squad car punched someone's deck in a bar fight. We're still cleaning the mess."
"Our jobs only look easy from a distance, don't they?"
"Damn right. Shit like this always happens under a television sky."
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:24 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


The logical extension of this is an implanted cell phone. So now I'd have GPS and RFID implanted in me too? As well as some sort of passive receiver/transmitter that radiates?

Even it this was real it's not a very good idea. Unless the user can remove the implant/tattoo himself.
posted by tkchrist at 2:28 PM on February 27, 2008


Man, if blood fuel cells had been invented, that would have been pretty sweet. As of today, pacemakers are actually powered by batteries that need to be surgically replaced every few years. Not fun. The display itself, I don't think would work either, because a tattoo works by impregnating ink. This thing wouldn't be able to turn pixels 'off' after turning them 'on'. It could work by lighting up underneath the skin, though.
posted by delmoi at 2:28 PM on February 27, 2008


Now I finally have an excuse to get a dog.
posted by furtive at 2:30 PM on February 27, 2008


Surely I'm not the only one who thinks that building computational machinery which is powered by drinking blood is a profoundly bad idea?
posted by whir at 2:45 PM on February 27, 2008 [8 favorites]


Main post link should have been to here where there's all kinds of cool stuff that actually does exist.

Metafilter just isn't ready for an all-in-one Washing Machine Toilet.
posted by Gary at 2:50 PM on February 27, 2008


Reminds me of a joke:

Three business men are out playing a round of golf. All of a sudden one of them raises his thumb to his ear and his pinky to his mouth and starts talking. The other two are confused until, having finished talking, the man explains "Oh, this is just the latest in phone technology. I have a speaker grafted to my thumb and a microphone to my pinky, so I just need to hold my hand up to talk".

A few rounds later the second businessman starts talking to himself, once again confusing the others. He then explains "Oh, it's this great new thing I've got. I have a whole phone system grafted underneath the skin of my face, so I can talk without using my hands."

They play a few more rounds, until the third businessman suddenly darts into the bushes. The other two follow to investigate and find him squatting in the middle of the bushes with his pants down.

"You alright mate?"

"I'm fine. Just receiving a fax from the office".
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 3:32 PM on February 27, 2008 [2 favorites]




More on the lamp.

Designer Clay Moulton acknowledges that the current state of the art physical universe isn't sufficient to actually build the lamp.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:51 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's just what the world needs. Tattoos that can display porn.

Am I being sarcastic, or not? I don't even know any more.
posted by loquacious at 3:55 PM on February 27, 2008


Bring on the Robot Vampires!
posted by Tenuki at 4:39 PM on February 27, 2008


But the real question is; can it display a random assortment of kanji according to the mood/situation of the user?

Dude, swimming: Yo, check this out, it means 'Love and Water'

Dudette, drunk/out partying: OMG, check this out, it means DRUNK!


Oh, and if you get drunk, does the blood powered fuel cell/tattoo get drunk too?
posted by schyler523 at 4:45 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


This has been covered before, and better. (I'm not calling this a double.)

Implanting the cell phone as such strikes me as a rather bad idea, and not just for health reasons. All you need on the skin is a display. You can use muscle motion sensors for input. The "brains" of the device can go elsewhere - in your pockets, possibly even implanted somewhere internal (which is at this time far more dangerous than anything else suggested here). Once you have a computer with inputs and display, it does everything a cellphone does and much more. If you wanted a keyboard on your arm for some reason, you could have the display show one, and the motion sensors, knowing where your arms and your fingers are, can work out what parts of the display you're pressing.

As for the display itself, I'd assume it would need a transparent layer and a means of darkening it, or maybe electrically activating bioluminescence or something. Body heat would be much simpler than blood as an energy source.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:26 PM on February 27, 2008


I'd figure that a layer of plastic under the skin would be remarkably uncomfortable.

And it's a shame this is vaporware, as a colleague of mine just asked me if I had any tattoo-related stories.
posted by klangklangston at 5:44 PM on February 27, 2008


Yeah, not real, but not a real great idea, either. Like a cell phone, do I have to replace it every two years? Isn't it going to suck if it becomes obsolete, like all the analog cell phones are as of this year? What if you lose your job and you don't have enough money to maintain your cell account? Now you have a dead electronic device in your arm that you can't afford to remove. Finally, I can't imagine buying something like this from my generally incompetent cell carrier. One would hope they'd have a surgeon on staff to deal with "tech support." I bet it wouldn't work with other carriers, either, meaning changing providers means getting surgery.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:45 PM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


It would have to be a network of tiny cables, rather than a flat plane, and it would need to be very tolerant of being moved around and stretched in all directions. It's a problem that would be far, far easier to solve first by installing it in tight-fitting clothing (silver jumpsuits, even), then move it to clothing that had very skin-like characteristics, before trying actual living skin.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:56 PM on February 27, 2008


How about just a "generic" wireless display/input device. This would work wonderfully for my Palm (maybe even IN my Palm).

Of course, the palm Palm display would render my mobile porn usage far more difficult...
posted by Samizdata at 6:28 PM on February 27, 2008


And I will be first in line for a skull jack, too.
posted by Samizdata at 6:30 PM on February 27, 2008


The display itself, I don't think would work either, because a tattoo works by impregnating ink.

That's the easy part - just use eInk.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:09 PM on February 27, 2008


That's just what the world needs. Tattoos that can display porn.

Man... that makes tramp stamps a whole lot more interesting of an idea.
posted by Talanvor at 1:05 AM on February 28, 2008


I won't be happy until someone comes out with a bluetooth phone receiver and microphone that get implanted in one's thumb and pinky finger respectively so all you need to do is make the 'phone' gesture with your hand and hey presto, a phone!

Very funny jtron!
posted by RubberHen at 5:46 AM on February 28, 2008


If I did not see this in Woody Allen's "Sleeper" -- can it really be coming in the future?
posted by RubberHen at 5:51 AM on February 28, 2008


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