Get inked for Nokia

The company Nokia, which is based in Finland, has recently filed a patent that could change how phones interact with their users. The patent is for a process that would create a magnetic ink capable of responding to electric magnetic waves let off by a cellphone.

Will you be getting this new phone tattoo? Graphic by Laura Bramble.

There is one catch with this truly silent notification: users would have to get the ink embedded into their skin for it to be effective. In other words, people have to get a tattoo with the special ink. The patent filed implies that users would be able to get the tattoo in any shape or design they desired; the ink would be just a very specialized tattoo ink.

The ink would in essence make users’ skin vibrate when they receive a text message or phone call, serving as a silent alert to users. The patent suggests that users would be able to personalize how the tattoo vibrated based on whether it was a text or call and personalized vibration patterns for specific people.

For those who are not looking forward to letting their cellphone provider tattoo their skin in the name of a silent notification system, the patent includes the possibility for Nokia to develop some sort of badge or sticker. This badge or sticker could be applied to the skin of the arm or stomach, allowing customers to enjoy the same experience as those tattooed with the ink, with the added risk of losing the badge or sticker at some point in time, which just adds to the number of things to keep up with.

There is no indication when this may hit the market. This is something they plan to do in the future, but whether the future is next year or 10 years from now, no one seems to know.

This product, whether it is the tattoo or the badge, is a ground-breaking invention. While the tattoo may come off as creepy to some, it is most definitely a sign of the progress technology has made. It is unlikely that the vibrating tattoos will hit the market anytime soon; it will take a while for people to get used to the concept. The vibrating badge or sticker seems to be a much more sellable product, one that doesn’t have quite the same shock factor.