New Smart Tattoos Can Control Phone, Computer & More From Your Skin (Video)

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Leave it up to the brilliant minds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Microsoft Research to develop on-skin user interfaces. In layman’s terms, this wearable technology serves as a fully connected input mechanism for things like smartphones and computers, much like a wireless keyboard or remote – except it’s worn like a temporary tattoo.

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It’s called DuoSkin and it’s the result of ingenious students at MIT’s Media Lab, where creators were inspired by the fact that “metallic jewelry-like temporary tattoos are a growing trend.” According to TechCrunch, despite its complexity, its “fairly inexpensive and easy to set up for just about anyone.” Incorporating the use of gold leaf, it uses what’s called NFC (near-field communication) chips to conduct the skin-to-gadget connectivity. The developers have already put forth three potential uses for it. “[I]nput devices that can turn your skin into a trackpad, or a capacitive virtual control knob for adjusting volume on your connected device”; “display output, changing color based on your body temp like a Hypercolor T-shirt”; and “they can contain data to be read by other devices, via NFC wireless communication.”

All one needs to create his or her very own piece of DuoSkin is a vinyl cutter and temporary tattoo printing paper, and of course some gold leaf. But all in all, considering the high-tech possibilities, it is relatively accessible and could very well become a popular accessory.