It's not your mother's tattoo, or your father's either for that matter. Katia Vega is exploring the possibilities of tattoos inked with biosensors instead of traditional ink. Vega is a researcher in the MIT Media Lab and her project is known as DermalAbyss. Her biosensor inks change color based on levels of glucose, sodium, or pH in the body. For the past seven years she has been combining electronics and cosmetics. She has created RFID-enabled nail polish, smart fake eyelashes and conductive makeup for products she calls “beauty technology”. Vega has been able to connect internal biological processes with external interfaces by injecting her biosensors below the skin.
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What is the future of wearables and how will they be integrated into the workplace? Katia Vega is suggesting wearables come in the form of a tattoo, or at least a temporary tattoo doubling as a circuit. Perhaps wearables will take the form of a “second skin”. Wearables that are only skin-deep may very well control our devices and operate our power tools. Beauty is still only skip-deep and ugly really does go all the way to the bone…but just imagine the safety information and life-saving data that could be collected by wearables as thin as your skin and concealed by regular clothing.
For even more on wearable tech tattoos, check out this article from Fast Company:
These Color-Changing Tattoos Monitor Your Health, No Wearable Needed
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