Wednesday, September 9, 2020
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Google’s Smart Tattoos: Changes Skin to a Touchpad.

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N. Pompi Devi
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  • Google’s ‘SkinMarks’ allow the human skin to be transformed into a living touchpad.
  • The smart tattoos use sensors to change the human body to a touchpad.
  • Google hopes that the wearable project allows easier interaction with technology.

Google, one of the Big Tech companies, has been secretly working on a project called “SkinMarks.” The smart tattoos uses rub on tattoos that transforms the human body into a living touchpad, via sensors.

The wearable project is a part of Google research, in order to transform the next generation of wearable technology.

Google hopes that the smart tattoos will make human interaction more comfortable with technology. Certainly, it seems that the goal is not far fetched as after all the human skin is turned to an extension of cyborg reality.

The company in fact, seems to have been working on the project of wearable technology for quite some time, presenting a white paper back in 2017. It stated how our fine motor skills could make such an interface more intuitive to use and naturally easier to engage with, even to the point of doing so without looking rather than interacting with a display.

The smart tattoos are loaded with sensors and can be applied to any part of the body. For example, it can be applied on your knuckles or the side of your finger.

Users could squeeze the areas around the tattoo, bend a finger or a joint or flex a muscle to activate the sensors. The more interesting aspect of this is that you can use several skin-specific controls as well. For example, if you placed a SkinMark on your finger or knuckle, the movement of that part of your body could trigger some kind of response or digital action.

Google’s SkinMarks tattoos are created by screen printing conductive ink onto tattoo paper. The material is then thermally cured, allowing it to be applied to the skin. While some prototype versions resemble cartoons or light-up displays, the possibilities are virtually endless.

With such introductions to futuristic technologies, it seems that we are not far away from the visionary, technology-based society portrayed in the movies.

However, Google is also facing criticism for the smart tattoos, as some believe that the company is trying to change “humans into tech powered robots.”

Moreover, it also raises concerns over privacy. But despite the public criticisms, Google continues to work on the project. Currently, the experiment is being led by the researchers from the Saarland University in Germany.

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