With the Nokia conceptual video fueling some interesting discussion, I
thought I'd throw this out there as something perhaps even more
removed from our normal
approaches to design, but...well...it's not entirely implausible that
real application of this technology could come about.
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.
The basis of the 2x4-inch "Digital Tattoo Interface" is a Bluetooth
device made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone. It´s inserted
through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfurls
beneath the skin to align between skin and muscle. Through the same
incision, 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.
On both the top and bottom surfaces of the display is a matching
matrix of field-producing pixels. The top surface also enables
touch-screen control through the skin. Instead of ink, the display
uses tiny microscopic spheres, somewhat similar to tattoo ink. A
field-sensitive material in the spheres changes their color from clear
to black, aligned with the matrix fields.
The tattoo display communicates wirelessly to other Bluetooth devices
- both in the outside world and within the same body. Although the
device is always on (as long as your blood´s flowing), the display can
be turned off and on by pushing a small dot on the skin. When the
phone rings, for example, an individual turns the display on, and "the
tattoo comes to life as a digital video of the caller," Mielke
explains. When the call ends, the tattoo disappears.
Could such an invasive device have harmful biological effects?
Actually, the device could offer health benefits. That´s because it
also continually monitors for many blood disorders, alerting the
person of a health problem.
The tattoo display is still just a concept, with no word on plans for
'Life' plus 'significance' = magic. ~ Grant Morrison