The future of tattoos is approaching and it’s exciting

5 min read
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I’m not much of a tattoo person. While I have nothing against tattoos and the people who have them, the thought of putting something permanent on my skin that I might change my mind about later is not something I have the guts to do. However, tattoo technology is changing and some of the new creative ideas that are in development might make me change my mind about getting one.

Below is a round-up of some exciting new ideas recently shared on New Atlas from companies looking to take the tattoo beyond being a mere decorative piece of body art and potentially make tattoos as ubiquitous in the future as mobile phones are today:

Soundwave tattoos

This is technology that is planned for release this year already and is based on waveforms uploaded to the company’s website. Whatever sound sample might be important to you whether it be the voice of a loved one or your favourite quote being recited, a waveform is generated that can be tattooed directly onto your body.

Unfortunately, the technology is not advanced enough to be at a point where you can play it directly from your skin and you will instead need to scan your tattoo through an associated app that will then be able to play the sound wave for you. Its limited ability in these early stages might not appeal to everyone, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction of getting tattoos that can actually store useful information. The future of the iPod could soon be the tattoo market.

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DuoSkin

Just imagine how cool it would be if you could use your tattoo to actually do something practical, like control things or act as an interface for your different devices. It turns out this technology is not too far away, as a recent Microsoft and MIT collaboration was able to turn gold leaf temporary tattoos into a touch-sensitive interface.

The patented DuoSkin that resulted can then make use of wireless technology to communicate with different technology. The technology can also be sued to track your body temperature or even embed an NFC device which would make paying for something as easy as swiping your arm. Not only does that make you feel like you have the force, it has a lot of practical implications on the biometrics front as well. It’s definitely a technology that is going to grow and develop over the coming few years.

Medical Tattoos

Following on from this technology is a company called Chaotic Moon which is looking to specialise in electronic tattoos. They have a system which embeds electrodes into any tattoo template that can be used to track biometric data, such as body temperature or your heart rate.

The technology looks a little complicated, but I have no doubt that its uses will expand over time and we could see tattoos replacing the current trend of fitness devices. They would need to find a way of making the technology upgradeable to make it more practical and appealing to a wider market, but again this is a great first step in having fully functioning technology embedded into your skin.

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Disappearing tattoo ink

Perhaps the technology that I’m most excited about as it points to my exact reasons for not wanting a tattoo is technology from Ephemeral Tattoos. The company has created a patented ink which contains smaller molecules than your standard tattoo that can be removed with a special solution that flushes the ink directly out of your skin. This sounds like my kind of ink. If they had this technology a few years ago Johnny Depp would’ve saved a lot of money from expensive laser surgery.

3D Printed tattoos

Almost anything can be 3D printed today, so why not tattoos? A French company, Appropriate Audiences, has created a 3D printer that can successfully tattoo a human arm. Where this technology comes into play is that it could essentially remove the need for expensive tattoo artists and have a robot that could one day simply replicate any device that you can create on a computer onto a part of your body, potentially from the comfort of your home. While it might not be as cool as getting inked by a particular artist, it can drastically change the industry in the future.

Those are some fantastically innovative ideas that will certainly add more practicality to tattoos making them more than just forms of body decoration. The only question that needs to be answered is once this technology is all available – what tattoo should I get?

Last Updated: May 11, 2017

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Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I saw the sound wave tattoo yesterday, it’s a cool concept. But then I think that after 10 years that cool clip of your baby saying they love you it morphs into something that sounds more like a backtracked record.

    And now I’m reminded that I want a tattoo again.

    • All this does is make me think of Little Nicky xD

      • konfab

        I watched it last night.

    • Original Heretic

      And what if hair gets in the way of the sound wave form? Will it sound like the person is hiccuping, burping, or undergoing some sort of torture?

      And yes, I’m with you, this has also reminded me of my desire for a tattoo. But like Craig wrote above, I don’t want to be stuck with something I might hate in future.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I’ve always thought they should have a real personal meaning, otherwise you stand a good chance of not liking it down the line. I know enough people who’ve gotten tattoos on impulse and regret it now.

        • Original Heretic

          I do have an idea for one that I think I would still love in years to come, but getting the design sorted is proving to be the current headache.
          My son’s name is Drake, so I want to get a dragon tat that’s actually made up of the letters of his name.
          My wife is an artist and she promised me that she’d do it for me. It’s been two years since I received that promise and I’m STILL waiting.

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