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

A recently discovered Motorola patent application describes smartphone microphone skin tattoos that could be used in the future for communication purposes when coupled with other mobile devices.
November 7, 2013
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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?