Smartphone microphone skin tattoos? Motorola already has a patent application on it

by: Chris SmithNovember 7, 2013

Motorola X Phone Ad

Motorola wasn’t kidding back in May during an interview when it said it’s working on a variety of mobile-related wearable devices, a recently discovered patent application reveals.

Filled a year before that interview, in May 2012, the patent describes “coupling an electronic skin tattoo to a mobile communication device.”

Simply put, the tattoo would act as a wearable smartphone microphone that would be tattooed on one’s skin near the throat region in order to facilitate voice-based wireless interactions with mobile devices, whether it’s voice commands for the device (“smartphone, a gaming device, a tablet computer, a wearable computer”) or phone calls.

The tattoo would incorporate its own microprocessor and would connect via NFC to the mobile device of choice. Furthermore, it could incorporate a battery “that may or may not be rechargeable,” and that could be charge using a wireless connection including NFC, Bluetooth or ZigBee.


Considering that Google is very interested in wearable devices and voice-based commands for them and other mobile devices with special emphasis on smartphones, it makes plenty of sense to see such concepts described by new patent filings, whether or not such products will actually be created or not.

In late May at AllThingsD‘s D11 Conference, Motorola showed off a similar product, a tattoo placed on the wrist, acting as an authentication device for mobile usage (image below). Furthermore, the company also demoed a smart pill that could turn the human body into an authentication device.

We’ll certainly be on the lookout of such a product from Motorola, and we’re certainly interested to hear whether there will be any health risks involved wearing such smart devices directly on the skin – but we’ll cross that bridge when such products actually become available.


Would you wear such Motorola smart tattoos?

  • Patrick Boake

    I’ll take one of each to go. Don’t bother wrapping them I’ll wear them out. Can I get Google Glass implanted?

    • damien warner

      Google contacts?

    • frederigoxcz305

      my Aunty Bella just got
      Mercedes C-Class Coupe just by part-time work from a home pc. go now w­w­w.B­I­G­29.c­o­m


    NOOOOOO…….. i knew this was coming but i didn’t expect it from motorola or rather Google…

    • Cole Raney

      I agree with this. I would not get any kind of tattoo, especially not of this kind.

      • needa

        its not like someone is tattooing ink on you. its more or less a sticker, or temporary tattoo, placed on the skin. i see the military using this as soon as it is available.

        • Cole Raney

          I know it isn’t ink. That is even worse. It might be useful for the military, but there is nothing wrong with raising your phone to your head for the consumer market.

          • needa

            Indeed there is not. But there is also nothing wrong with a company coming up with cool ideas. Where would we be if everyone said… I don’t need a beeper. You can just call me when I am home.

          • Seth Forbus

            There is also nothing wrong with not owning a phone, moving to the middle of nowhere and living in a jungle butt naked.

          • Cole Raney

            But there is harm in possibly causing bodily harm or just getting a stupid looking tattoo you are stuck with for a freaking microphone.

    • Tanner Hoyt

      How did you not see this coming? Google is one of the most invasive companies.

  • vpbalu

    Another potential source for throat cancer

  • Luka Mlinar

    I bought all that stuff they talked about at D11 but their inability to make phone and do this at the same time is just baffling. They could have just named Regina CEO and said “fuck it” to the making new product. We are Google, we invent :)

  • Alan Shearer

    Will it be removable as well? I would long as is nothing permanent.

  • Seth Forbus

    Some people consider tattoos tacky because of the statement they make. I feel that these could become mainstream because its not a tattoo in the regular sense. Its for practical purposes.

  • It really is the possibility of stars? If true, then it really is a great modification