MIT and Microsoft develop DuoSkin, a temporary “smart” tattoo

Mobile / Tech / Wearables

If smartwatches aren’t your thing, maybe this new temporary tattoo will be your new wearable.

If smartwatches, smart-rings, fitness trackers, smart-earbuds, and Google Glass are not your thing, maybe a conductive temporary tattoo will get you interested in wearables. Microsoft Research and a group of PhD students from MIT are set to present a project they have been working on called DuoSkin in September at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers. The temporary tattoo can be designed to almost any unique look, and then transferred to gold leaf before being applied directly to skin.

Miniature devices have become wearable beyond the form factor of watches or rings—functional devices can now directly affix to the user’s skin, unloving a much wider canvas for electronics. However, building such small and skin- friendly devices currently requires expensive materials and equipment that is mostly found in the medical domain. We present DuoSkin, a fabrication process that affords rapidly prototyping functional devices directly on the user’s skin using gold leaf as the key material, a commodity material that is skin-friendly, robust for everyday wear, and user-friendly in fabrication.

If you are wondering why use gold leaf, that is due to its conductive traits. Beyond simple smart-device controls, the team has outlined three key use cases for DuoSkin

  1. Touch Input
  2. Displaying the wearer’s mood
  3. Communicating and sharing information with other devices through NFC

If this feels a little like déjà vu, you may be remembering another project that Microsoft Research worked on with a student from Carnegie Melon called Skinput. That proved to be expensive and required a worn projection device.

This is all pretty interesting and I highly recommend you check out some of the designs, applications, and read up on the project here.

  Source: DuoSkin
To Top